Back in June, we made our first trip down to Gary, Indiana. It was really the first time either of us had spent any considerable amount of time there and the intent was to find out how we could leave a part of RISE behind. As we had written about before, Gary is a city that has often been forgotten. Take a walk downtown and you can feel the weight of the city's past overshadowing where it wants to be. A mix of old beaten down buildings covered in graffiti and construction projects show you the constant battle Gary is enduring to rise from adversity.
For us this trip was an opportunity to acknowledge this place. A place that may be structurally unsound but relies heavily on the makeup of its people. Good people that have spent years even decades believing in their home and their future. We got the chance to hear their concerns (lack of employment opportunities and high crime) and we look forward to the day when those 'Don't Give Up' walls come down. Til then we hope and believe that Gary will not give up.
Below we leave you with some visuals from our trip. We covered several walls with our 'Don't Give Up' statement and got the chance to talk with several individuals including one young man (Nathaniel), a college kid currently enrolled at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana studying in Information Technology.
It doesn't matter where you are from, where there is opportunity, there will always be someone ready to capitalize on it.