Founded on July 21, 2011, Initiating Communities Helping Area Neighborhoods Gain Empowerment (ICHANGE) is a non-profit charitable organization created by community activist and mother Denise Brown-Chillers. ICHANGE was created to evoke change within the community through addressing the issues that face families and youth. Denise utilized her years of active engagement with youth and young adults and sought like-minded professionals who are committed to listening to the authentic voice of our youth and families. After data analysis and much research, together they developed programs, services and activities as a preventative collaboration/intervention as opposed to a treatment course. Research supports the strength-based approach theory in addressing the multilevel psychosocial risk factors youth and families in today's socioeconomic times are facing within the Lansing area.
On that premise, youth and families must be directly involved at all levels to understand better the risk factors that particular youth/family is facing. For example, youth/family are who are involved in the decision making process of the community program services and activities will be able to address the community specific risk factors. The program achieves this by utilizing the evidence based Asset Builder Curriculum coupled with the Strengthening Family Five Protective Factors model to empower youth towards a positive change. A main purpose of ICHANGE is to find points along the way that allows youth to approach adulthood with a growing sense of a healthy identity, a positive set of answers to such questions of “Who am I?” and “What can I become?” We use a strength-based approach to change the youth’s current perception towards influencing their social behaviors on their journey to adulthood. Building on the Asset Model by establishing a rapport with the youth is a crucial component to the ICHANGE curriculum. The Risk Factors we work with include society/environmental, family, community, school, and peer association risk factors.
Simply put means "Change or transform your character" the symbol of life transformation. This symbol combines two separate adinkra symbols, the "Morning Star" which can mean a new start to the day, placed inside the wheel, representing rotation or independent movement.
Our mission is to empower youth with the protective factor tools to become self-sufficient and provide family support services to strengthen Michigan’s families toward sustaining optimal family functioning.
The goal of the ICHANGE Youth Program Curriculum is to provide strength-based and evidence based program and service that builds resiliency skills, produces positive identity and builds self-esteem through a comprehensive positive youth development program. This tool seeks to reduce the risk factors among middle and high school youth and adequately equip them on their journey through adulthood.
Positive Youth Development which is a strength-based youth program modeled from the National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP)
For Youth By Youth (FYBY) a program in which at-risk youth who have gone through a series of qualifying workshops determine the program activities and concepts. Created For Youth and facilitated By Youth.
Teen STEP a proven evidence-based program indicated in to be a best practice. We use suggested workshops that equip youth with life skills needed in transitioning to adulthood.
Families Unite is a program which is modeled after Strengthening Families Five Protective Factors model to foster the protective factors through the Circle of Parents program , workshops, and family centered activities and events.
We give as well as take referrals from our community partners, schools, other youth agencies as well as self-referrals.
ICHANGE© 2011 Call (517) 410-4828/ ICprogram@comcast.net