Running Rebels Timeline
Victor Barnett saw Milwaukee gang leaders recruiting youth from the neighborhood and became concerned. In response, he utilized the sport of basketball to mentor youth in the community to keep them away from gangs, violence, and other negative influences.
For 15 years, Victor was a mentor and coach to hundreds of youth, funding his efforts by selling t-shirts out of his car. He made sure the youth were successful not only on the court, but at home, school, and in the community.
In 1998, Milwaukee county engaged RRCO to provide service to youth involved in the Juvenile Justice System. These partnership programs emphasize mentorship, employment, accountability, and positive decision-making.
In 1999, RRCO moved into its W. Fond du Lac location; purchasing the Lindsey Heights building in 2005. This location allowed RRCO to fill a critical gap in quality after-school programs in the area.
Running Rebels Our E.P.I.C. Mission
The Running Rebels Community Organization engages the community, youth, and their families, prevents involvement in gangs, drugs, violence, and the juvenile justice system, intervenes and guides youth by assisting them with making positive choices, and coaches youth through their transition into adulthood. We accomplish this through building relationships with youth and providing the resources and skills necessary for them to become thriving, connected, and contributing adult members of our community.
Running Rebels Goals
- Create safe after-school and summer environments for Milwaukee’s youth
- Prepare youth for future careers and businesses
- Improve academic performance through tutoring and mentorship
- Avoid negative police contact and involvement in the corrections system
- Provide youth with a sense of belonging and unity within their community
Running Rebels Philosophy
Our philosophy is to develop young people’s potential and to reduce violence, drug usage, and gang activity by:
- Keeping young people involved in beneficial, safe, and fun recreational and employment activities
- Encouraging each youth’s hopes and dreams while supporting youth to achieve them
- Underscoring successful academic achievement as essential for responsible adult citizenship
- Employing supportive, caring adults who inspire trust and model the values, skills, and morals that we want at-risk youth to develop
Running Rebels Staff
Victor Barnett Dawn Barnett Rolunda Dixon John Rakowski Stacey Lindsay Donta Holmes Traci Amos Derrick Shoates Cozette McLemore
Executive Director & Founder
Senior Director of Operations
VFZ Program Director/Development
Director of Targeted Monitoring Programs
Director of Workforce Development
Director of Mentoring Services
Violence Free Zone Director
Event Coordinator / Mentoring Assistant
Running Rebels Annual Reports
Running Rebels Board of Directors
JILL M. BOYLE
JESSE LEE BROWN