Ivy Tech Is Helping Local Youths Through Community Programming
Writer & Photographer / Kylee White
Duane Clemens Jr. and Wayne Johnson have known each other since 1996. Both played basketball at Ball State, and had a coach who made sure they were out doing services for their community. Now both are working at Ivy Tech Community College in Muncie, and they are working together to get students out into the community and lead them toward positive life paths.
“We’ve seen basically a higher need for community involvement for students who were on the south side, and we felt like we needed to change the narrative around with people who can help,” Johnson says.
Both Clemens and Johnson actively work with Ivy Tech to connect students with opportunities such as starter programs for certain career pathways, and other programs that allow students to be involved with their community. Clemens has been working with Ivy Tech for 13 years, while Clemens has been involved for four years. Johnson works as the vice chancellor of enrollment, and oversees admissions and financial aid. Clemens also works with admissions, as well as the college connection program. He can be found all over town connecting with students, to show them the pathways they can take outside of high school and middle school.
“This is our attempt to do some goal-setting with the kids, and help them get over the obstacles and get to those goals,” Johnson says. “Our idea is to partner with them, not tell them what they should be or who they should be – help them be the best version of themselves. It’s not what we think it should be. They have to give some input in that. Of course, selfishly we want Ivy Tech to be a part of that narrative because there are really good positions here in the city now.”
As part of their work to help people in their community, Clemens and Johnson hosted an event for men aged 18 to 86, and included breakout sessions on topics like how to tie a tie and professional etiquette. They want to do another conference, adding more topics to teach male youths.
“Now we’re talking about doing something similar this year, and adding different subjects such as how to change oil and basic necessities that they aren’t really learning and don’t have access to,” Clemens says.
Even with all the work they’ve done, Clemens and Johnson aren’t finished. They want to continue reaching out and helping more and more students. By partnering with Ivy Tech, they can work with others to increase the number of students they are able to reach.
“It’s going to take all hands,” Johnson says. “This is not a one-stop shop. This is definitely something sustainable for us. This is something we want to be a part of through Ivy Tech, and we just want to see these young fellas and young ladies do better. There are plenty of people doing amazing things right here in town, and not too far from the town. We’re just an avenue to show them what it looks like.”
Clemens and Johnson have worked with Ivy Tech’s Dream Maker series, to provide youths with possibilities for their future and the community. They’ll offer a career exploration class that will begin with eighth graders.
“In the spring we’ll be able to give that class to all the eighth graders,” Johnson says. “There will be four-week blocks on Fridays. We’ll be able to deliver that information. That’s how we will connect the mentoring conversation with the big picture for every eighth grader. Then for those who are interested, we will funnel them into teamwork programs, or into youth empowerment programs to keep them interested throughout the summers.”
Both Clemens and Johnson have a strong dedication to giving back to the community. They have been able to reach out to several individuals, and show them a possible way of life that can lead to a better future.
“Really both of us have a passion for giving back to kids, because we both wouldn’t be here without people pouring into us, for sure,” Johnson says. “This is just our time to do that.”
tps://www.foto-therapy.com/Male-Call-July2622/ – Photos from Male Call Event that they held
The photos I have from my camera are too big to be sent from email, i will create a google drive folder and share that with you!