Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus has received a Lincoln Financial Foundation Grant to continue and expand the Ivy Tech Education and Career Exploration Program. This $40,000 one-year grant continues a pilot program with Fort Wayne’s Department of Parks and Recreation to provide information on education and career pathways to low-income children grades four to 12.
The goal is to help students understand the connection between elementary, middle, high school, and post-high school; and high-demand careers. Many students who don’t have career role models in their family are not always aware they should be laying the groundwork for career success as early as middle and high school.
“This grant helps low-income participants identify their own career interests and the educational pathways they’ll need to reach those goals,” says Tracy Davis, the program’s director.
It also reinforces the need to stay in school to succeed. Ivy Tech’s Career Exploration Days, which reached 100 to 150 students a week, were the first time many participants visited a college campus.
Previously, the Ivy Tech Education and Career Exploration Program has supplemented efforts by My Brother’s Keeper to reduce violent behavior among the children served by parks and recreation youth centers; 93 percent of that population are black children who live in high-crime areas with frequent exposure to violence, according to the grant application.
This grant will allow the College to continue the program and expand it to the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne. It will also expand program offerings to include a week-long STEM camp on the Fort Wayne Campus and on-site pop-up STEM camps at each of the five program sites, which are the McMillen Park Community Center, the Cooper Center in Reservoir Park, the Jennings Center, the Weisser Park Center, and the Boys and Girls Club.
Learn more about the Lincoln Financial Foundation at www.LincolnFinancial.com.