We’ve been in existence since 2000. Programming is very intentional about going beyond just giving youth something to do. Sports leagues and clinics grow youth into leaders. Classes, experience trips and mentoring give students practical skills and ideas for success in life. Community events help organize citizens to make positive neighborhood changes.We develop youth and the community through programs that change the negative norms present in our neighborhood and replace them with a positive culture. As youth move throughout our programs, their level of ownership in the community increases. We challenge the accepted negative norms of the community and try to replace those with a positive culture. By the time youth reach adulthood, they have become community stakeholders, capable of contributing to the positive culture of the community.People often talk about “getting out” of their neighborhood. That’s not what we are looking for. Why take skills and talents to places that already have resources? We want to see youth gain skills and abilities they can then contribute to their communities. We want to see not only individuals lives transformed, but communities changed.Beyond the Ball can point to many of our alumni as proof of our success. Several of the youth involved since Beyond the Ball’s inception are now attending or have graduated college. Many have returned to the West Side and found employment, bringing stability to the community. In addition, areas formerly dominated by gang activity have started to shift back to being owned by the community, and used by the public as originally intended