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Lumina Foundation awards Indy Achieves $100,000 grant for postsecondary support

Indy Achieves lands grant to support students at Ivy Tech Community College and IUPUI

Indianapolis – July 10, 2019 – In the fall of 2018, Indy Achieves was awarded a $100,000 grant from Lumina Foundation to support the hiring of two Student Success Coaches, one who would be based at Ivy Tech Community College and another at IUPUI. These coaches will work closely with the students at each location in order to provide them with additional academic resources and tools to ensure a meaningful postsecondary experience and completion. 

Indy Achieves will be utilizing this funding to mirror best practices of Lumina’s adult promise work to improve education levels beyond high school and guiding career pathways for individual success. With the constant struggle of retention and on-time completion, schools are looking for new ways to improve the number of graduates while also giving them the skills to succeed after graduation as they enter the workforce. 

“We’re pleased to support Indy Achieves’ efforts to guide students to success beyond high school as a key effort in increasing our nation’s attainment rate,” said Tim Robinson, assistant vice president of operations and grants administration at Lumina. “We hope that lessons learned here and from other Lumina-supported efforts for mentoring will provide a model for others across the country.”

The two Student Success Coaches, Alina Zayas (embedded at IUPUI) and Caitlin Diehl (embedded at Ivy Tech), will be joining teams providing academic and career support at each campus as they oversee 200 Indy Achieves Promise Scholarship recipients. The Promise Scholarship provides additional needs-based funding in order to remove financial barriers to retention and graduation. 

“The career connections that Indy Achieves and EmployIndy bring to the table are game-changers for our students and reinforce IUPUI’s position as Indiana’s premier urban public university,” said Amy Conrad Warner, IUPUI Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement. “We are committed to providing educational opportunities that transform the lives of our students, our community, and the changing world around us.”

In addition to providing financial assistance, the Student Success Coaches will be assisting students by navigating campus systems, identifying internal and external resources, and exploring career pathways. This will provide much needed support to those in the cohort to grow their skill sets, obtain a postsecondary credential, and prepare them for the workforce. 

“Retention and on-time completion are top priorities at Ivy Tech Community College,” said Kathy Lee, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis. “Adding the student success coaches will help take our support to the next level so our students are set up for great careers to meet the demands of our employer partners.”

EmployIndy, the organization that houses Indy Achieves, will support programmatic growth by introducing students to different work-based learning opportunities, thus establishing and furthering employer connections. Indy Achieves aims to not only assist students in earning their credential on time, but to arm them with the skills needed to make them more marketable to employers post-graduation.

“EmployIndy and Indy Achieves are doing more than encouraging students to graduate,” said Yecenia Tostado, Associate Director of Indy Achieves. “We are providing them the skills and connections to excel far beyond graduation. These individual experiences will have a direct impact on the Indianapolis community at large as each student discovers where the needs of employers and their talents overlap – ultimately leading to personal and professional success.”

By providing academic supports such as playing the role as advisor and assisting with co-requisite remediation, the Student Success Coaches are working to remove barriers and more as they establish pathways for individual success, falling in line with EmployIndy’s strategic goal of creating positive trajectories for young adults to achieve and maintain promising careers.

Learn more about Indy Achieves at indyachieves.org.

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About Indy Achieves
Indy Achieves is an initiative 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 Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.