UAW-Ford vice president Jimmy Settles is big on giving back to his community and shows it in a major way. In honor of National Love Our Children Day, which was established to recognize children’s value in society, UAW-Ford unveiled its latest community contribution to Chapel Vision Community Development Center during an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 2. The contribution included a $100K donation for revitalizing a neighborhood recreation center for local youth and the launching of its Mind & Manners Mentoring and Tutorial Program.
The objectives for this initiative are to create alternative, positive outlets for local youth, increase literacy in an effort to shorten the achievement gap, create a positive culture for youth as well as improve health and physical activity.
“I feel very blessed and fortunate to be in a position to help give back to such a project in a community that will create a safe haven for youth and residents needing recreational and the basic life-skill training needed to produce well-rounded individuals,” said Settles.
The newly renovated recreational facility was named in honor of the late great baseball Hall of Famer, Jackie Robinson. It includes state-of-the-art simulators for baseball, softball and golf, half-size basketball court, fitness area and arcade. In addition to UAW-Ford’s contribution, Chapel Vision CDC also installed a new heating and cooling system, lighting, security and renovated classrooms for workshops, teaching and professional development.
The recently launched Mind & Manners Mentoring and Tutorial Program is accepting youth ages 8 – 13 years old, and provides them with tutoring, etiquette and baseball training. The program is open to area students every Monday and Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. for third through fifth graders. Students in grades sixth through eighth can participate Tuesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.
“We are proud to invest in Detroit neighborhoods and youth in an effort to help local communities,” said Bill Dirksen, Ford Motor Company vice president of labor affairs. “In order for Detroit to see a complete resurgence, we must commit to working together and each do our part.”
The Rev. Dr. Tellis J. Chapman, pastor of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church and president and founder of Chapel Vision CDC, gave the closing remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony. He was also on hand to do the honors of cutting the ribbon at the ceremony, along with his wife, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and UAW-Ford’s Jimmy Settles.
“I am extremely proud of this initiative and welcome our community members to take part in this much-needed endeavor. Our hope is to make Detroit a safe and healthy environment for youth,” said Chapman.
Chapel Vision CDC was founded in 2004 by Galilee Baptist Church. It aims to provide outreach services that meet human needs, which addresses social crisis and improves the quality of life for area residents. These services include recreational programs, summer youth programs, homeless shelter initiatives and soup kitchens.