Dreaming big at Southside Stars Youth Zone

A new youth program in Evansville is planning to expand in the New Year, with the community’s help

Youth program expanding in Evansville

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A new youth program is aiming to fight the odds in Evansville’s most poverty-stricken neighborhood.

We’ve learned the program is set to expand in 2019.

“In the new year, we will be doing a lot of renovation to the downstairs of the building," said Cathy Davidson, one of the program’s founders. "We will grow the program down there, and we will have more space. We will be able to do more. We’re adding on additional hours and days to bring more services in.”

Lisa Barnett, also one of the program’s founders, told us its about to earn credentials to become a non-profit organization.

“We’ve grown so much,” Barnett said. “Watching these kids...they’ve made amazing progress, just in a couple of months. To know that we’re going to keep going and they’re going to keep learning...we’re adding new pieces, some extracurriculars, and educational aspects. I am just thrilled to see how they’re going to grow in this direction.”

“They’re learning things that they might not get anywhere else,” said Davidson.

The program has sparked interests beyond the Tepe Park neighborhood. Evansville’s Promise Zone, which has pull with federal agencies has helped Southside Stars connect with local companies for funds. Recently, private donors have invested thousands of dollars to help expand the program, which will aid in its basement renovations.

Davidson and Barnett tell us there will be a grand opening for the zone sometime this coming Spring.

Soon after they hope to reach to teenage groups, and keep growing from there.

Copyright 2018 WFIE. All rights reserved.