Immerse Arkansas, a Little Rock-based non-profit that serves youths in crisis, was recently invited to participate in a national development program for non-profits called the Praxis Nonprofit Accelerator, based in New York.
A mentorship-driven program, the Praxis Nonprofit Accelerator equips top social ventures as they seek to expand their impact in their industries, which they refer to as the “redemptive edge.” Praxis accepts just 12 organizations internationally each year, with up to two leaders per organization.
Immerse Arkansas is the second venture from Arkansas to ever be selected.
The program is built upon an examination of the venture’s expression, operations and leadership, including its functions, processes, culture, and partnerships, and its founder’s character, motives, imagination, and practices.
Through this program, Immerse will work with seasoned mentors and receive feedback on their current and new methods they can use to increase their impact during their growth stage.
The Praxis Nonprofit Accelerator focuses on the growth of five main areas: funder network, mentor network, story support, talent network and spiritual formation.
“We feel equally honored and excited to have been invited to participate in the Praxis Nonprofit Accelerator. Praxis looks specifically for young non-profits with momentum in their ventures, so we’re thrilled to be included in this group,” said Eric Gilmore, founder and executive director of Immerse Arkansas. “We are looking forward to seeing how the new skills and knowledge we gain from this program will allow us to better fulfill our mission of making sure youth from crisis have the tools and relationships they need to succeed.”
Gilmore and Justin Sanders, associate director of Immerse Arkansas, will be the two representatives participating in the program. The program launched last week and will continue into 2021.
Immerse Arkansas began in 2010 and provides extra resources and support to youths aging out of the foster care system. Originally, the goal was to find supportive housing for young adults, but the mission has been extended to support runaway and homeless youths escaping unhealthy home lives or abuse.
Today, Immerse has several homes and apartments across Little Rock that are available for youths in crisis, as well as a location where youth can receive mentorship, take classes and form healthy relationships.
On Wednesday (June 3), Immerse Arkansas received an anonymous $250,000 grant from a family foundation.
The donation will help fund a renovation project to build out unfinished space in the organization’s main resource center, known as Overcomer Central, or the “OC,” located at 5300 Asher Ave. in Little Rock.
The OC provides youth in crisis a safe place to have a hot meal, shower, laundry, have access to life skills classes, a computer lab, referrals for housing and health services, and other resources.