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Creating lasting educational solutions that transform the lives of
youth through innovative programming that empowers them to achieve and succeed through nontraditional experiences. 



High impact youth development program where youth receive the essential skills to overcome adverse  situations to transform their  lives and their communities.




Executive Director, Founder

Our Founder, Elaine Marthel, grew up in North Lawndale, a community that has been on an economic decline for decades. The poor quality of life has caused an exodus of residents to flee the area in pursuit of life and happiness in a safe and peaceful community.

Elaine, although a  hard worker,   wasn't exempt from the generational cycles of dysfunctionalism: single teen mom who had to work multiple jobs to make ends meet,  her father was killed by the gangs by the age of five and attending under-performing schools.

This was truly a recipe for perpetuating the cycle of poverty and despair, which Elaine found herself repeating as she too became a single teen mom.

Despite the odds, Elaine went on to graduate from Lane Tech High School, which was ranked as the number one high school in the City of Chicago. She persevered and obtained her Business Degree from Roosevelt University.

Elaine has committed over 25+ years of her life as a youth advocate through youth ministry, the classroom, and her community work as the founder of Project Impact 180.  Her love is clearly seen by all that have encountered and been impacted through her touch on their lives.

Her mantra: Youth are not a job! But youth are her  ministry!

As a champion of hope, Elaine believes that In spite of the shaky start in life, we can use all of our experiences as building blocks to help teach youth how to overcome these barriers that may be hindering their success.

The work of transforming the lives of youth began when she and her husband met in college. Since 1993, Elaine and her husband Eddie have mentored more than 1000 youth. Many youth have testified that the trajectory of their lives shifted  because of the encounter with the Marthels.



Our board is composed of dynamic members who embody and push forward our mission. We feel so fortunate to be working alongside these stellar individuals.


Elaine Marthel

Founder & CEO,

Project Impact 180

Executive Director

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Brianna Griffin

Director of Programs

Board Role: Interim Secretary

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Tevin Haynes

Dean of Students Perspectives Charter School (Bronzeville)

Board Role, President

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Eddie Marthel Jr

Pastor Restoration Ministries, Doctoral Candidate, Marriage & Family Counseling 

Board Role: Vice President 

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Davenia Nelson

Childcare Owner

Board Role: Treasurer

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Our Guiding Principles


Awakening the creative genius in youth to help them overcome roadblocks in discovering their inner potential. 


Leveraging time, energy, and experience to develop young visionaries for leadership roles in their homes, schools, and communities. 


Engaging the heart and soul in transforming the lives of youth through servant leadership.


You're a parent, right? 

Let's face it parenting is a challenging job! The hospital didn't give you a manual for all the quirks that come with raising kids. Many of us have a vague idea about our short and long-term visions for ourselves as parents.
We want to help you on your parenting journey. This will not be your typical vision board party. It will be curated with parents in mind.

We will explore the Golden Rules of Effective Parenting, whereby parents can learn strategies to improve their connection with their children.

Help is Here!

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