APEX Community Advancement, Inc. (Always Pursuing EXcellence) is a youth center located in the heart of Central City New Orleans and targets and at risk youths and young adults.
APEX started at the home of the Fitzpatrick's, a New Orleans household, when young children used to come over to play with the couple's two children. This resulted in the popularization of the home for children that were in need of safety and structure. Due to size issues with their home, the couple were approached by the young vicar at Gloria Dei Church. He was Curious why all these kids seemed to gather at their home, sometimes numbering 20 to 30 running in and out.
LINC New Orleans, a neighborhood development organization, was introduced to the Fitzpatricks, providing volunteers and guidance, and soon this turned into an every other Saturday community cook-out for any one who wanted to come. The newly growing APEX organization would then move to 'Gloria Dei' church. The organization would continue for a second summer, hosting over 120 young adults and teenagers acting as mentors and junior councillors. It promoted a non-violent theme, called 'Kicking it Old School'.
APEX was designed for the purpose of supporting, innovating and creating programs and services focusing on the needs of young people to help better their lives and keep them off the streets of New Orleans, and to create future leaders (or model citizens). The center services children, primarily ages 12 to 18, during the day, with special activities and programs in the evening targeted to teens and young adults between 15 and 25. Volunteers circulate, and facilitate positive social interaction, teaching the necessary verbal and non-verbal communication skills to resolve conflict and develop relationships. Features such as homework help, tutoring, job-training, computer access, non-violent video games, a pool table and indoor and outdoor team sports are highlighted. APEX Youth Center's theme is “Reconciliation, Never Retaliation”.
Since APEX was opened January 2010, it has had over 200 young adult clientele.