Life Directions, located in southwest Detroit, is celebrating a huge milestone with its 50th anniversary of helping and uplifting young people in the city. Their upcoming “Spark of Hope Tribute Gala” on May 6th is a great way to honor the fantastic work they do every day providing proactive mentorship and motivation to youth through peer-to-peer programming.
The organization is genuinely a best-kept secret that deserves more recognition for its consistent success in providing youth and young adults hope. The staff and mentors at Life Directions inspire these individuals to see life as a gift and to dream big, even in the face of adversity caused by poverty, violence, addiction, and homelessness.
The founders of Life Directions, Rev. John Phelps, C.Ss.R., Rev. Alex Steinmiller, C.P., Sister Rosalie Esquerra, O.P., and Alex and Judith MacDonald arrived at the intuitive understanding that it was necessary to “get to the cause of the violence.”
“Our vision was born through a series of conversations. We identified some of the key causes of school dropout and violence with the people who were directly living with the effects of trauma,” said Life Directions co-founder and president & CEO, Rev. John Phelps, C.Ss.R. “We listened and engaged with the community. We bring a culture of calm amid the chaos with peers inspiring peers to take charge of their lives. It works! 50 years later, Life Directions not only exists, but is thriving.”
Helping teenagers and young adults between the ages of 13 to 35 to mature into responsible and productive adults is one of the main goals of Life Directions. They do this by emphasizing core values such as self-responsibility, relationship balance, partnership in diversity, and a mission-driven attitude. Through its programs, Life Directions has established a proven track record of success that benefits men and women throughout their lives.
The highly anticipated 50th Anniversary Gala will be led by Chairman Patrick A. Rugiero of Roman Village Cucina Italiana and Honorary Chairperson Ed Peper of General Motors Fleet. This year’s gala will also pay tribute to Mary Kosch of Dearborn Sausage, who will receive the 2023 Guiding Light Award, and the Hathaway Family, who will be honored with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Spark of Hope Tribute Gala is happening on Saturday, May 6th, at One Campus Martius. Guests can look forward to an evening filled with community and empowerment, as well as delectable cuisine, exciting entertainment, and live and silent auctions. For more information, visit www.lifedirections.org or call 313-399-9531.