A Columbus man is doing what he can to help young people stay off the streets. Ike Ellis started the Columbus Drum Academy to give young folks something to do that could possibly keep them out of harm’s way.
“It keeps them occupied. If you don’t have anything to do, you’re going to find something to do, and that’s usually what the crowd is doing,” says Ike Ellis, the Founder of Columbus Drum Academy.
Since June, Columbus and Phenix City have seen about 20 shootings where at least 8 people were murdered. In July, Ellis decided to take an active role in trying to stop the violence. He founded the Columbus Drum Academy.
“With the way the crime rate is looking in this city, it’s really easy to get involved with something you’re not supposed to be involved with,” says Ellis.
He holds practices every Sunday at Revelation Missionary Baptist Church in Columbus with local kids in the Muscogee County School district.
“It’s really made a better person overall. Gave me something positive to do for my free time,” says Chris Coleman a Junior at Northside High School. Coleman has only been a part of the academy for a few months but he’s already become a role model for many of the kids there.
“As long as they see me doing the right thing, coming to practice, becoming a better drummer and a better person overall, I feel like that’s making my mark on their life,” says Coleman.
Ellis has multiple kids who are already eligible for scholarships at historically black colleges and universities. But he also helps the ones who don’t want to continue their education. “We just connect them with somebody that can put them through trade school because we’re not just trying to put them in the marching band. So we just get them able to get into the workforce,” he says.
Marcus Boden has two sons in the Academy and he says he’s thankful for Ellis. “It gives them an avenue, not only to keep them off the streets but to hone their talents as well,” he says.
The Columbus Academy is always looking for new young people who need guidance and something fun to do, contact Ellis here.