Our Journey

Inner City Innovators, Inc. (ICI) is founded and led by Ricky Aiken, a product of the inner city of West Palm Beach, with a passion for  embodying the change he wants to see there.

ICI’s mission is to inspire and empower at-risk youth to embody the change they want to see in their communities.

At Inner City Innovators, we believe that if change is going to come to the inner cities of America, it is going to have to come from the inside out, so we have positioned ourselves to identify young  leaders with the social capital and life experiences needed to make a difference and we empower them to do so.

See our model at work through the footage below!


Answering the Call to Community Leadership

Inner City Innovators was founded in the Summer of 2015 when Ricky Aiken and Terryon Chapman grew weary of the gun violence plaguing their community so decided to do something about it.


Losing a Comrade: Johnny Davis

Johnny was a member of Inner City Innovators and had accompanied us at the community forum in the story featured above. His life was cut short by the same gun violence he sought to put an end to less than two weeks after the story aired.


A Step of Faith

Desiring to bring greater awareness to the issues contributing to gun violence in our community, Ricky Aiken took a leap of faith by running for City Commissioner, eventually placing 2nd out of 3 candidates and garnering 4,000 votes. His courageous run energized our community around the importance of civic engagement.


Our Community, Our Responsibility

To remind residents of their role in preventing youth violence, Inner City Innovators organized a Proactive Peace March to kick off the summer in hopes of achieving peace.



Through the collaboration between Inner City Innovators, City Leaders, and residents, our community achieved it’s very first Summer of Peace. We proved to our community that peace was possible!


The New Normal

Inner City Innovators are the neighborhood Hope dealers so we’re always looking for ways to inspire our youth to  be likewise. This is one recent example!

While Ricky Aiken is the current face of our movement, this is not a one man show. We are building an army of streetwise young men and women who are dedicated to embodying the change they want to see in communities like ours!


Engagement Walks

To convey a credible, clear message about the consequences of clique/gang violence to youth already involved or at risk of being involved in gangs, we walk the streets to communicate to youth that they have better options for their lives.



ICI Mentoring Initiative

With a focus on leadership development, social/emotional learning, and community service, we aim to give at-risk youth the tools they need to be producers instead of products of their environment.


Hoops in the Hood

To keep youth safe and occupied we provide refreshments and oversight as they compete for bragging rights on the basketball court. Special guests and mentors drop in to play and share knowledge with youth.



Good in the Hood Outreach

Our team descends upon neighborhood playgrounds and housing-complexes to engage school-age youth in arts & crafts, organized sports activities, literacy assistance,  etc. to expose them to the positive influences residing in their own community.

ICI Group Photo




A violence prevention program designed to help incarcerated youth overcome problems they may face once they return to their communities, such as gangs, crime, and drugs. 


Youth violence is a significant public health problem that affects thousands of young people each day, and in turn, their families, schools, and communities.

For only $3,500 per month we can continue to faithfully execute these programs to reduce the impact of youth violence on our community. Help us reach our goal by signing up for automated donations today!

Our Board of Directors

Ricky Aiken

Executive Director/Chairman of the Board
Ricky is the founder, leader, and visionary of Inner City Innovators, Inc. Ricky is a passionate activist and agent of change in the communities that ICI serves.

Tom Copeland HeadshotTom Copeland
Treasurer/Co-Chair of the Board
Tom is a founding board member, helping to develop and implement the corporate operations, fundraising, and long-term strategic planning to maximize ICI’s efficiency.

Ronnie Perry HeadshotRonnie Perry
Ronnie is the founder and pastor at New Song Church, offering a guidance and advisory role to ICI with a background in start-up non-profits.

Jessica Lynn AndersonJessica Lynn Anderson
Community Engagement Leader
Jessica is an employee with the Palm Beach County School Board, and former Staff Sergeant with the Air Force. She has a passion for community engagement, and giving back to West Palm Beach.

Norman Austin HeadshotNorman Austin
Events Chair
Norman is committed to providing and instilling resources, leadership, and empowerment in the members of the inner city with a hands-on approach.