LaGrange County Launches Youth "Promise" Program for College and Career Readiness

07/25/2014

LaGrange County Launches Youth “Promise” Program for Career and College Readiness

LaGrange, Ind. (July 23, 2014) — The LaGrange County EDC, in collaboration with the Cole Center Family YMCA, LaGrange County schools, and Parkview LaGrange Hospital, is happy to announce the launching of the LaGrange County Promise, a career and college readiness initiative that will give local youth the opportunity to obtain post-secondary education.

The LaGrange County Promise is a community-wide initiative for K-3 students that supports youth in the development of their college and career readiness through discovery, academic readiness and educational savings. The program will include classroom coursework, an onsite college visit, and the establishment of College Choice 529 Direct Savings Plans.

“This is an amazing opportunity to be able to support the youth of our county,” said Keith Gillenwater, President/CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation.  “Bringing together the strengths of these great organizations in partnership with our seven public elementary schools and approximately 1900 kids to help provide hope for kids that regardless of the situation the community believes in their potential is truly astounding!”

The local community will provide the tools and resources to help students enroll in a College  Choice 529 Direct Savings Plan, and Parkview LaGrange Hospital has committed to providing $25 in seed money for each K-3 student from Lakeland, Prairie Heights or the Westview School systems, who opens an account. Students will then ask community champions (friends, family, and neighbors) to make an investment of $5.29 or more into that account. Students who raise $25 or more will receive a community- matching gift.

LaGrange County was chosen as one of three pilot communities after being chosen by a committee that created the program last year in Wabash County. The Wabash County YMCA along with the Indiana Education Savings Authority will provide assistance to the LaGrange County Promise group, as well as to similar efforts in Noble and Whitley Counties.  "Unlike any other community-wide initiative, this has the opportunity to bring various community leaders and organizations together to rally in support of children and their future," said Casey Weimer, CEO of the Cole Center Family YMCA.

The program will also feature college and career discovery activities in the classroom and a “Walk Into My Future” event where students will experience a local college campus first hand.

"Supporting the LaGrange County Promise helps Parkview further its mission in a number of ways,” said Rob Myers, president, Parkview LaGrange Hospital. “Parkview LaGrange Hospital and Parkview Health look forward to the opportunity to provide the initial seed money towards the College Choice 529 Direct Savings Plan, with the intent of encouraging many young minds around LaGrange County to dream of and ultimately pursue post-secondary and career readiness opportunities."

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About the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, established in 2009, is a 501(c) 3 corporation designed to assist business development needs.  The LCEDC partners with local, regional, state, and federal agencies to attract, retain, and develop new businesses and entrepreneurs in LaGrange County and its communities.  For more information about the LaGrange County EDC, please visit www.lagrangecountyedc.com or call at 260.499.4994 

 

About the Cole Center Family YMCA

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net





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