THE BEGINNINGS 1973-1990
Life Directions was born out of the issue of violence. In 1973, Detroit was called the “Murder Capital” of the Country. On average one Young Adult was dying every eighteen hours.
The Co-Founders of Life Directions arrived at the intuitive understanding that it was necessary to “Get to the cause of the Violence.
The dynamic of “Peers Inspiring Peers Through Forgiving” was forged through a series of neighborhood discussions directed at determining its Root Cause.
PEOPLE WHO WERE EXPERIENCING ITS EFFECTS GOT TO THE CAUSE
Life Directions first response was to design the Focus Life Weekend for training and developing young adult peer leaders. The process centered on engaging the values that give direction to actions through forgiveness.
The young adult leaders then entered into three public arenas — Neighborhoods, Public High Schools, and Churches — to awaken peers to be a part of the solution to the violence of their peers. Those who are rooted inspire those who are rootless with a family or an adult mentor!
Life Directions efforts, in Detroit, through continuous improvement, were formed into the three interconnected programs that exist today — the Neighborhood Enrichment Program, the Peer Motivation Program, and the Peer Mentor Program. As Life Directions discoveries were refined it prepared to expand its work.
EXPANSION – 1990 ON
Life Directions exported its work to Chicago, New Orleans, San Antonio, Tucson, and Marion County, OR. To date over 168,000 young adults, ages 13-35 have partnered with Life Directions to inspire their peers to embrace the values and virtues that make life grow.
TODAY – 2018
We are celebrating our 45th anniversary of reaching those most at risk in Detroit, MI and Chicago, IL. We are impacting Social Emotional Learning and are evaluating our work annually through Holistic Student Assessment administered by Harvard Graduate School of Education. Innovation is taking place through “Project Zero” and is strengthening inter-generational communication through Visible Thinking and Project-based learning.