How a Detroiter is helping inner city kids get to afterschool activities

People may tell you crime is the biggest problem in Detroit, but Detroit Bus Company founder Andy Didorosi disagrees. 

He maintains the biggest problem is transportation, especially when it comes to inner city children. 

"A lot of the kids don't know that there is a future outside of their neighborhoods. They can be lawyers, accountants and small business owners and visionaries instead of just accepting what's been given to them," says Didorosi. 

Studies show kids are most vulnerable when class ends for the day, but afterschool activities can help them stay on the right track. 

There's no shortage of them out there. In southwest Detroit alone, the Skillman Foundation funds more than 40 youth programs. The problem is getting kids to them. 

With that in mind, Didorisi created the Youth Transit Alliance. The program provides free rides to kids from their schools, to their after-school programs and then directly home to their door. 

"Our solution is that we go to the neighborhoods that have the least resources and the fewest programs, and we connect those kids to the dense neighborhoods where there are programs," says Didorosi. 

In 2013, the Youth Transit Alliance gave 5,711 school-aged children rides on one 24-seat bus. Last year, they upgraded to a bigger bus to serve even more kids.  

All of the routes have a driver who focuses on the driving and a conductor whose sole job is to maintain the well-being of the kids.  

Unfortunately, transportation isn't cheap. The YTA's Skillman Foundation funding ends March 31 and they need the public's help to keep the wheels on the bus going 'round and 'round.  

Their goal is to raise $98,000 to fund the program through the rest of the school year. 

"We are slowly changing lives because it is something that isn't going to make a big difference in the neighborhoods over the next 5 years, but you give it 8, 9 10 years and this success will start coming back to the neighborhoods," says Didorosi. 

If the Youth Transit Alliance isn't able to meet its monetary goal the program will end. They've started a crowd-funding campaign. 

LINK: Click here if you would like to make a donation to the Youth Transit Alliance 

Online: http://thedetroitbus.com/


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