Recent News & Blog

IUPUI and Ivy Tech students among those to receive funds and coaching services to help them complete graduation requirements

AUGUST 26, 2019 – INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the first round of Promise Scholarships now available to IUPUI and Ivy Tech students. The Promise Scholarship fund has awarded scholarships to 344 students at IUPUI. At Ivy Tech, Promise Scholarships have been awarded to 85 students so far, with 178 additional scholarships offered. These scholarships, coupled with innovative coaching services, are designed to help Marion County students complete college by reducing barriers to on-time completion.

“We want to make sure every student, in every zip code, has the opportunity to earn a high-quality post-secondary degree or credential,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This ensures more Indianapolis residents have the skills they need, for the good-paying jobs of the future. With this first round of Promise Scholarships, students will be set on a solid path to their future careers.”

Students from Marion County who receive state aid, such as the Frank O’Bannon Grant or Indiana 21st Century Scholars, and are in good academic standing qualify for the Indy Achieves Promise Scholarship. The Scholarship covers the student’s tuition, fees, books, and supplies after all other financial aid is exhausted. The Promise Scholarship addresses financial barriers that too often prevent students from enrolling in or completing a postsecondary program.

“IUPUI is proud to be partnering with the city of Indianapolis and Ivy Tech on Indy Achieves, opening doors of opportunity for hundreds of students to pursue higher education so vital for success in today’s economy,” IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar said. “This program allows us to further strengthen our strategic focus on student success, ensuring that Indy Achieves students will have tuition, fees, books and supplies fully covered while enrolled at IUPUI.”

The Indy Achieves Promise Scholarship is a part of Mayor Hogsett’s commitment to ensuring college is accessible and affordable for all Marion County students.

“I’ll be able to focus more on my school work and my academic success and worry less about the stress of financial burden,” said Hannah Mayorga, Warren Central High School graduate, incoming freshman at IUPUI and Promise Scholarship recipient. “I’ll be able to get more out of my college experience and make the most of the opportunities that IUPUI has to offer.”

In addition to financial support, the Indy Achieves Promise Scholarship provides unique coaching services to those students receiving an Indy Achieves Promise Scholarship. Students are matched with an on-campus professional coach to help them fulfill basic needs, navigate campus resources, and participate in work experiences. These Student Success Coaches are employed by EmployIndy, which houses Indy Achieves, with offices located at Ivy Tech or IUPUI.

“Indy Achieves is offering to help me be successful while I’m in college. They want to give us not only financial help, but mental support as well so I can stay on track and be productive,” said Lorenzo Garcia, Arsenal Technical High School graduate, freshman at IUPUI and Promise Scholarship recipient. “With the lack of help I have at home, it means a lot to me because I know that I can go to someone who wants to help me succeed.”

Indianapolis needs about 215,000 more adults with postsecondary degrees and credentials to meet employer demand. Indy Achieves Promise Scholarships are designed to address that gap in the workforce by helping to graduate more IUPUI and Ivy Tech students with the skills needed to excel and positively impact the future of Marion County.

View more photos from the event.


Data warehouse to be built to monitor student success and expand general knowledge of population being served

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – 6 August 2019 – The Indianapolis Foundation, a Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) affiliate, has awarded Indy Achieves $40,000 to invest towards building a data warehouse. With these resources, Indy Achieves, an initiative launched by Mayor Joe Hogsett and administered by EmployIndy, will build a data tracking tool to identify Marion County residents who are at risk of educational remediation and/or uninformed about available financial postsecondary opportunities.

“We support this project’s initiative to get students in the pipeline early, and keep them in the pipeline,” said Andrew Black, director of community leadership for CICF. “Because of this data, we can help more students graduate on time and access programs, like 21st Century Scholars, that make obtaining postsecondary credentials possible.” 

Set to be launched this fall, this secure data-tracking warehouse will be utilized exclusively by EmployIndy, the organization that houses the Indy Achieves initiative, and can break down pre-existing barriers by receiving, combining and exporting specific data, such as identifying individuals who qualify for 21st Century Scholars. With this information, Indy Achieves is able to connect with qualifying families, provide programmatic clarity, and sign them up for applicable opportunities.

“We understand that outreach must begin early, with students and families in K-12, to ensure critical growth of Marion County’s workforce and the future success of our young people,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This data will make it possible to focus on youth who can benefit from Indy Achieves in order to pave the way to the postsecondary credentials needed in the 21st century economy.”

EmployIndy will also be able to utilize the data to inform when and how to intervene with students. By establishing the necessary infrastructure to safely secure and maintain the data gathered in the local, state and national level, Indy Achieves can act quickly before students fall through the cracks and are at risk of completion. This system makes it possible to proactively identify issues with students so that schools and community partners can intervene in real time. Indy Achieves will seek out schools to pilot early warning intervention systems to address common attributes of students who get off track at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels. Triggering early intervention will plug the leaky pipeline into postsecondary education and the workforce.

“The data warehouse enhances our ability to serve Marion County residents by not only identifying at-risk individuals, but providing a method for us to reach them before they fall too far,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy. “This early warning will allow for individualized intervention and will undoubtedly improve retention rates in the K-12 space as well as at the postsecondary level.”

Utilizing this intervention strategy aligns with other EmployIndy initiatives to improve skills attainment and create positive outcomes for young people. By quickly investing in a population that trickles out of the education system, it is possible to increase on-time postsecondary completion rates, first semester retention, and track those who have been involved in work experiences, such as internships. This will shrink the skills gap and ultimately build up the workforce in Indianapolis.

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About Indy Achieves
Indy Achieves is a program created by Mayor Joe Hogsett that aims to ensure that every Indianapolis resident has the ability to pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree program. To accomplish this, Indy Achieves seeks to increase the number of individuals who apply for existing financial aid programs such as 21st Century Scholars and FAFSA as well as provide Indy Achieves Promise Scholarships and wraparound support services for Marion County students who attend Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI. Learn more about the Indy Achieves initiative at indyachieves.org.

About EmployIndy
EmployIndy guides the local workforce ecosystem and makes strategic investments to remove barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents. As the workforce development board for Marion County, guided by 21 business, civic, education and nonprofit community leaders, EmployIndy invests $20 million in public, private and philanthropic funds for both youth and adults annually. Learn more about EmployIndy at employindy.org.

About Indiana 21st Century Scholars
The 21st Century Scholars program was established in 1990 to increase students’ aspirations for and access to higher education. The program provides income-eligible students the opportunity to earn a scholarship that covers up to four years of tuition and regularly assessed fees. 21st Century Scholars supports eligible students and parents with the tools they need to prepare for college, graduate on time and begin a successful career. The scholarship is awarded on an annual basis. Learn more at www.scholars.in.gov.

About Indianapolis Foundation
The Indianapolis Foundation was founded in 1916 and is an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). As Indiana’s oldest and largest community foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation is governed by a board of six publicly-appointed directors and awards approximately $7 million annually focused on creating neighborhoods and environments that empower people, changing systems that unfairly hold people back, and dismantling systemic racism. The mobilizes people, ideas and investments to ensure that the quality of life in Marion County continuously improves; to help where the needs are greatest and the benefits to the community are most extensive; and to provide donors a vehicle for using their gifts in the best possible way now, and in the future.


Posted on August 1st, 2019 in Press Releases Tags: ,

EmployIndy is formally launching its YES Indy Re-Engagement Center (REC), expanding to two additional locations at Eastern Star Church and Mount Carmel Church after soft-launching a pilot site over a year ago with the Finish Line Boys & Girls Club on the Far Eastside. The RECs are designed as an outreach tactic to attract “opportunity youth” – residents ages 16-24 who have disconnected from education and/or employment – using open gym basketball to bring them to a space where career services can be offered.

open gym basketballThe concept came from the mind of Rev. Rodney Francis, senior director of opportunity youth at EmployIndy, and aligns with the organization’s strategic plan to provide positive opportunities for young adults, particularly in impoverished, high-crime neighborhoods. The first REC has been quietly operating at the Finish Line Boys & Girls Club, utilizing their facility during school hours when it would traditionally be closed.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis believes every young person deserves to live a life filled with hope and opportunity,” said Maggie A. Lewis, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. “Providing our youth on the Far Eastside with more than just basketball, but a safe place to spend time and engage with those who can help them seek educational and employment opportunities is critical to inspiring and empowering them toward success.”

Since the soft launch last May, over 1,200 individuals have come through the doors to play basketball, many of whom would meet the criteria to receive YES Indy services. Once engaged, young adults have opportunities to engage with REFs (re-engagement facilitators) and start creating a life change by attending the “Power Huddle,” a mind-setting course offered at the Finish Line Boys & Girls Club to participants who want to take that first step. 

During the Power Huddle, participants reframe their view of their own future and are introduced to opportunities available through YES Indy, such as achieving their high school equivalency, working with a career coach, enrolling in training, and receiving barrier busting support, such as assistance with rent, transportation, or childcare.

“Reconnecting disconnected young adults with education and employment opportunities is an important element of our strategy for inclusive growth,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.  “When young people in all of our city’s neighborhoods have access to postsecondary education and good paying jobs, we see greater social and economic equality, as well as successes in crime reduction and an increase in the overall sense of security for youth and their families across Indianapolis.”

Key to making the concept work is developing partnerships for hosting participants and working with one of the eleven Indianapolis-area YES Indy providers to offer career services. EmployIndy also negotiated relationships with adult education providers and local businesses for referrals. The collaborative efforts aim to have lasting impact on the crime, poverty, and economic mobility in the neighborhoods where RECs are located.

In order to continue these efforts, EmployIndy has braided funds from grantors such as Lilly Endowment, Starbucks Foundation, the City of Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety and most recently, Community Leadership Innovation Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF).

“We cannot ignore the barriers confronting these individuals,” said Milt Thompson, advisor to the Community Leadership Innovation Fund at Central Indiana Community Foundation. “These youth are at a critical moment in their lives and need our community’s support more than ever.”

Jervell Jackson has been a regular during the open gym basketball, and YES Indy has opened doors that may never have seemed possible. His career navigator at CAFE, a YES Indy service provider, helped pay for books to prepare for his CDL exam, and connected him to classes to become a certified basketball referee. The staff at the various organizations who partner to bring YES Indy to life are excited when they see positive outcomes and hope to see more as the two new RECs continue to grow.

“I took the information I learned and put it to use,” said Jackson. “Not only have I become a better man, I learned how crucial it is to find what you want your career in life to be and to not settle for anything less.”

Connect to a YES Indy service provider at yesindy317.org.