”Our mission is to inspire and empower at-risk youth to embody the change they want to see in the inner city.”
Inner City Innovators, Inc. (ICI) is a 501(c)(3) Florida non-profit corporation committed to breaking the perpetual cycle of youth delinquency and gun violence in the inner city of West Palm Beach.
Inner City Innovators, Inc. was born of a simple idea: to create change in the inner city by embodying the change. This idea germinated within Ricky Aiken for many years, but it wasn’t until he realized that he could spearhead an effort to organize a founding board of like-minded supporters, and consolidate their diverse talents to help Inner City Innovators, Inc. come to fruition.
Ricky Aiken was sick and tired of losing the youth in his community to incarceration and gun-violence, so eight years ago, he decided to do something about it. Since then, Ricky has used his life’s story to spread awareness about the plights plaguing inner city youth. He has committed his time and energy to be the role model and mentor the youth in his neighborhood and those like it need to overcome the persistent plights he has himself overcome.
Our youth are not participating in drugs, delinquency, and violence on a part-time basis, so why should our efforts be part-time? – Ricky Aiken
In 2016, however, Ricky realized his efforts weren’t enough. He had to take a more drastic, hands-on approach to addressing the issues facing the youth of his community. An hour a week here and there is simply not enough to fill the void in these young lives created by a lack of attention and positive direction.
To maximize his time and efforts in the hopes of making a more significant impact, Ricky Aiken made the courageous decision to devote his life to the youth in his community full-time. The way he sees it, these at-risk youth are not participating in drugs, delinquency, and violence on a part-time basis, so how could the answer be achieved on a part-time basis?
In the latter half of 2016, Inner City Innovators, Inc. was incorporated as a Florida non-profit organization, and the company received tax-exempt status from the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity in December of 2016. In early 2017, Ricky left his job as a program facilitator at another local non-profit to serve as ICI’s full-time Executive Director.