WARREN, Ohio – After the pandemic and three devastating floods at its Warren headquarters, Inspiring Minds focused on regrowth in 2022.
“The pandemic challenged our access to students, resources and opportunities. But losing everything in the floods challenged our ability to serve our community,” says CEO Deryck Toles.
Despite the setbacks, the organization continued to support hundreds of local students through its after-school and summer programming.
“2022 became our year to regroup and rebuild. And we were reminded that what really matters is our community and our people,” Toles says.
In 2022, in Warren and Youngstown, Inspiring Minds served 25% more students, employed 20% more staff, graduated 100% of its seniors for the 16th year in a row and secured 25 paid internships for its graduates, says Jessica Winters, program administrator.
Other highlights included hosting the first student-run summer market, celebrating its 16th annual gala, returning to international travel with an exposure trip to Jamaica. Inspiring Minds also focused on student-led community investment projects surrounding beautification, volunteering, holiday givebacks, activism, advocacy and more.
“Our work and our impact is heavily rooted in the communities we serve,” said Carl Diggs, program director. “Giving our students the opportunity and responsibility to invest in their community at a young age will have a ripple effect for generations.”
Inspiring Minds also saw growth nationally, with chapters growing in Warren, Youngstown, Philadelphia, New York City and Durham, N.C.
Since 2006, more than 5,000 young people have participated in Inspiring Minds’ after-school and summer enrichment programming. Inspiring Minds students have visited more than 80 cities in 20 states and four countries, toured more than 100 colleges and universities, and have been exposed to more than 90 companies and industries across the country.