Our Mission & History - The Motivational Edge

Our Mission

The Edge is a solutions focused 501(c)(3) youth development organization that leverages culturally relevant arts and other platforms to engage, educate and empower young lives.



Over the past 13 years, The Motivational Edge has grown into an organization that engages, educates and empowers thousands of under-resourced youth with remarkable success.

The story begins in Westchester NY, where Ian Welsch, Founder & CEO, started working for after-school programs and quickly became passionate about teaching and coaching. After completing his M.S.Ed, he moved to Miami and opened a successful tutoring center, but was compelled to create something more impactful. Drawing inspiration from the early days on the soccer field, Ian decided to start The Motivational Edge as a non-profit. The initial years were tough. Remembering that the vision/mission was greater than his need, Ian sold his car and borrowed money from family to support the agency and continue to provide services to our community. In the end, it was all worth it. Learn more about our history in the timeline below.

Today, alumni of The Edge's programming are walking success stories and can be found making a difference in their community. The Motivational Edge has a proven track record and continues to grow beyond the founder’s expectations. With the support of donors, politicians, corporations, artists, athletes, students, and families, The Motivational Edge launched the Allapattah Campus in September 2018 as our permanent home to engage, educate and empower under-resourced youth. Thank you all for making The Edge one of South Florida’s leading youth development agencies.

  • 2008The Motivational Edge Founded

    ME was born in 2008, Founded by Mr. Ian Welsch, whom saw the future of this community and its children slipping away through the crevices of a deteriorating educational system and systematic recoil of the arts in the classroom.
  • Early 2011First Programming Launched & First Grant

    In early 2011, The Motivational Edge launched its first reading camps aligned with the Miami Dade County Public Schools. Later on in April we received our first health and literacy grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield!
  • Summer 2011His House Partnership & More Programming

    In July 2011, we began our relationship with His House. Today the partnership is almost a decade old and has helped thousands of children. Additionally The Motivational Edge launched academic, music and physical education programming for over 150 foster youth.
  • September 2011First Audio Recordings

    Towards the end of 2011, the first audio recordings were created and performed live on stage by The Motivational Edge youth.
  • June 2012Allapattah Music & Literacy Center Opens

    The Allapattah Music & Literacy Center opens to provide a safe learning environment for at risk youth after almost a year of building and staffing by The Motivational Edge.
  • September 2013Major Grants Awarded

    Both The Target Foundation and Dollar General Literacy Foundation become the first major retail sponsors of The Motivational Edge. Their grant money funded innovated programs for youth living in Miami Florida.
  • December 2013ME and Lil' Wayne

    Lil Wayne partners with ME for an Indiegogo campaign.
  • September 2014Allapattah Music & Literacy Center / Irie Foundation Partnership

  • Fall 2015Homeless Youth Partnership

    An alliance between ME and Chapman Partnership is announced.
  • January 2016Lyrical Expression Launched

    The Motivational Edge's most renowned and impactful program launches with teenagers at Kinloch Park after partnering with Commissioner Wifredo Willy Gort.
  • Spring 2016Programming Expansion

    The Motivational Edge expands it's musical programming in partnership with Irie Foundation and physical education with Yoga Gangsters.
  • Summer 2016Tampa Expansion

  • February 2017UM Partnership

    ME partners with University of Miami to track the impact of our programming on youth.
  • September 2018Launched Allapattah Campus

    10 years in the making, The Campus features a state-of-the-art recording studio & multipurpose creative space, where students can explore audio production/recording, visual arts, instrumentation, and dance. The campus in Allapattah is open! Come visit us Monday-Friday from 2-6 or schedule a tour.
  • December 2018Major Grant

    Awarded $90,000 from Commissioner Willy Gort City of Miami.
  • March 2019Reading Corner

    Launch of our Willy Gort Reading Corner at The Campus.
  • April 2019BVI

    A team of 6 head to the BVI (British Virgin Islands) to work with kids on various islands as The Edge seeks to re-launch Foxy's School of Music on Jost Van Dyke with support from other organizations.
  • August 2019Relaunch of Foxy's School of Music.

  • December 2019True Colors Teaching Artists' showcase.

  • January & February 2020Create your Beat Student showcases.

  • March 2020Essential Services

    The Edge is deemed an essential service as COVID hits. The team pivoted to provide emergency day sheltering, hot meals, academic assistance, and other essential services to dozens of youth in foster care and within the community.