White’s Residential & Family Services celebrates the launching of a new offering through their vocational program. The Indianapolis NBA All-Star Legacy Committee brought the nation’s focus and goodwill to Indiana’s most important asset: its youth. In honor of hosting the NBA All-Star game, a host committee was formed to announce, in part, a grants competition that awarded 21 youth-serving nonprofits around the state substantial support. White’s Residential & Family Services received a $50,000 grant to expand its workforce development and vocational program.
The Growing Teens for Life vocational program made a long-time dream come true by acquiring a cutting-edge hydroponic farming system to grow and provide fresh produce. The greenhouse student interns learn everything from agriculture to business. From planting to growing to harvesting the fresh produce, students learn and acquire valuable skills. This program provides sustainability to White’s food service programs. The hydroponic farming system created four new job sites for student interns to practice and gain vocational work skills. Students see their hard work pay off as they sell the produce to customers through the 50 East Garden Center and Café.
For over 170 years, White’s Residential & Family Services has stressed the importance and value of acquiring a good work ethic. White’s founder, Josiah White, a successful railroad and coal businessman, insisted this work ethic be an essential part of the school he established. His legacy shines in the success of Growing Teens for Life – equipping young men and women for self-sufficiency when they return to their home communities. White’s leadership has remained committed to Josiah’s mission.
“From STEM learning labs to basketball courts, our NBA All-Star Legacy projects exhibit the importance of taking an event like NBA All-Star and making it more than a game for our great communities throughout Indiana,” said Rick Fuson, Founding Chairman, All-Star Board of Directors and President and Chief Operating Officer, Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “We are thrilled to see these innovative hydroponic towers impacting educational initiatives for students at White’s Residential & Family Services through this Legacy grant.”
To celebrate this achievement, members of the NBA All-Star Legacy Committee joined White’s leadership, Growing Teens for Life Advisory committee members, and members of the wider community, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony October 29, 2020.
“I am very happy to have this moment of celebration with the NBA All-Star Legacy Committee,” said Ron Evans, President and CEO of White’s. “To be part of a state-wide effort to highlight how Indiana focuses on its youth is an honor, one that rightly belongs to our founder, Josiah White, who gave us a road map on how to best serve the kids entrusted to us. White’s will continue to do everything possible to prepare our students for life after White’s. We’re so thankful to the NBA All-Star Legacy Committee for partnering with us to redirect, rebuild, and restore the lives of those we serve.”