December 10 2009
Listen: Meet The Need, Day 32 of 50 brings us the Running Rebels, an organization that's been dedicated to developing Milwaukee’s youth mentally, physically, and spiritually through education, recreation, and strong relationships since 1980. Like many of the organizations we've worked with, this is an organization that I've heard of, and even seen in the community (running down Walnut), but I didn't have a very clear mental picture of the specifics. After sitting down with founder and director Victor Barnett for about twenty minutes, the impact they have in young people's lives and their commitment the community were vividly clear to me.
Accordingly, because an introduction from me simply cannot do Victor's ruminations justice, I'll leave it up to him to explain how Running Rebels is meeting the needs of our youth:
-Victor came from Mississippi to Milwaukee, and found there wasn't a parallel to the "old wise man" from back home and decided he needed to do something to counter the local gang activity:
-A few of hundreds of young men that have stuck out in Victor's memory, including the first boy that he worked with:
-When you're offering at-risk kids help, oftentimes you can be met with resistance. How Running Rebels cut through that resistance:
-Perhaps the most striking story I've heard during the campaign -- I asked Victor to tell me about a young man he worked with that made an impact on him and he told me the story of Mohammed, a young man who he worked with but was then put in jail for 20 years:
-A brief tour of what you'd see if you walked through the doors of Running Rebels: