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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Heroes of the Week: Running Rebels Volunteers and Staff

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Running Rebels Community Organization (1300A W. Fond Du Lac Ave.) was founded by Victor Barnett in 1980 and focuses on steering Milwaukee youth away from gangs, violence and substance abuse by offering educational and recreational activities as positive outlets. Currently, Running Rebels works with 2,500 Milwaukee County youth each year and is operating the Milwaukee Violence-Free Zone program in collaboration with the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise within 12 MPS middle and high schools. This program works with school staff to reduce suspensions, mediate conflicts and assist youth in overcoming barriers to their educational success. Running Rebels offers many other opportunities, including a high-caliber athletic program that includes basketball, football, track, boxing and cheerleading, as well as mentoring, tutoring, crisis stabilization, anger management, daily living skills, and after-school and entrepreneurial programs. In addition, this nonprofit has an Entertainment Group, a Higher Educational Learning Program and a “Lady Rebels” program, which offers ongoing programming for young women.

“Nothing we do would be possible without having dedicated staff that are truly committed to our community’s youth,” says Dawn Barnett, co-executive director of Running Rebels. “This is not a job for us; it is our life.”

Running Rebels is currently seeking volunteer tutors and monetary donations to help fund the installation of a new heating and cooling system in the organization’s building. Support for their newest campaign, “Stop a Speeding Bullet,” is also appreciated, and more information can be found at stopaspeedingbullet.com. For additional information, visit runningrebels.org or email info@runningrebels.org.