December, 2015

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana (BBBS) – $20,000
The Schwab Foundation granted funding to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana to support their College Success Mentoring (CSM) Program. Schwab Foundation has funded this program for the last two years. In 2014, 174 mentor matches were supported by generous community leaders and efforts. Financial support for this new year (2015) would allow for 180 youth to be provided with positive, goal-driven guidance and support from long-term mentoring relationships. While the Indiana Youth Institute funding has helped BBBS significantly in preparing youth for high school graduation and college enrollment, the funding twill help youth finish their analysis of themselves and learn and understand how to prepare for the workforce. There will be targeted activities for 180 youth which focus on students learning about themselves in the workplace through the Workstyles DISC assessment. DISC is designed to describe the participant in the context of employment. Key indicators tracked and analyzed: Primary personality in workplace, Personality behavior under pressure, Motivation, Conflict style, Decision making style, and Learning style. After assessments are complete, group and individual sessions for students are held to promote discussions about their own work styles and styles of others. This assessment work is combined with college visits, one-on-one mentoring with staff and Bigs, goal setting strategy discussions, and workshops that cover soft skills. Another key tool used is the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) that tracks Motivation, Attitude, and Test taking. BBBS partner with East Allen County and Fort Wayne Community School Districts.

Fort Wayne Public Television, Inc. PBS 39 – $25,000
The Schwab Foundation granted funding to PBS39’s 2015/16 production of Entrepreneurial Energy: The Power of Ideas in Community which is a broadcast program and a series of educational videos for classroom use that addresses aspects of entrepreneurship as a career option. The program tells the story of individuals, companies and organizations that give northeast Indiana a special quality of place for entrepreneurs to succeed. The instructional segments, developed in discussions with partners in this project (Junior Achievement, Center for Creative Collaboration at Indiana Tech, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center and Great Fort Wayne, Inc.), are designed for elementary school use and feature a variety of entrepreneurs addressing specific question areas. The video series, to be produced in collaboration with JA, complements the materials provided to Junior Achievement’s community volunteers. The instructional segments are designed for elementary school use and feature a variety of regional entrepreneurs addressing specific question areas, including, “What are the attributes and skills of 21st century entrepreneurs?” “How a “start-up” business is created?” “What resources are available for entrepreneurs as their company grows?” “What advice do present entrepreneurs have for students considering entrepreneurship?” The broadcast program celebrates past and present entrepreneurial achievements in the area. The program tells the story of individuals, companies and organizations that give NE IN a special quality of place for entrepreneurs to succeed. The completed 60-minute program and shorter educational vignettes will air multiple times over a 3 year period on PBS39. All productions will be distributed to Junior Achievement for use in its work, in addition to statewide distribution for broadcast consideration over all 8 Indiana public television stations. PBS39 will also feature the work of JA, Greater Fort Wayne, Inc, NIIC and the C3 in 2016 on separate broadcasts of Primetime39, the station’s live call-in public affairs program airing Fridays at 7:30 p.m. Profiling the careers and comments of young business persons in NE IN presently in the workforce personalizes classroom instruction and helps connect the concepts of entrepreneurship in a practical way and in a regional context. The consideration of entrepreneurial opportunities preserves the innovative and creative thinking skills that exist in the very early grades. A 2012 survey of State Directors of Career and Technical Education found a current education leadership focus is looking at how people can be “career ready” for the jobs of the future which appear to becoming more entrepreneurial in nature. Nearly a quarter of all new U.S. entrepreneurs come from the 20-34 age group and the U. S. Small Business Administration notes in 2011that a nationwide poll of 18-34 year olds found that 54 percent wanted to start a business or had already started one.

Fort Wayne Urban League (FWUL) – $25,000
The Schwab Foundation granted funding to support the FWUL’s Project Ready youth program which is focused on preparing youth for college, vocational and entrepreneurial options. The objectives of the program are (1) Youth will have a clearly defined college, vocational and career plan; (2) Youth and parents have increased knowledge of college admission requirements as well as the skilled trades; (3) Youth and parents have increased knowledge of career paths and (4) Youth will persist toward the completion of a college degree, journeymen’s license and/or business and entrepreneurial opportunities. To improve the college and work readiness of low income and minority youth, they operate the Project Ready program. Their goal is that 100% of students earn either a Core 40 or Honors Diplomas

To improve the college readiness for these students, they operate the National Urban League’s Project Ready program which provides intensive case management, academic tutoring and supplemental programming to ensure students are prepared for college or other post-secondary opportunities, have secured financial aid, and been admitted to a college or other training institution . Participants explore a variety of career options and become informed of the academic and other preparation required for each of them. They go on college tours and to cultural events and activities. Their staff coordinates career visits to regional companies and job shadowing. They emphasize STEM careers and high demand fields along with project based learning activities. The curriculum is comprised of 3 critical components: (1) Academic Development; (2) Social Development; and (3) Global Awareness. An Individual College Development Plan is developed for each student that accesses the student’s interests, academic profile, extra-curricular activities, leadership, and in-school activities. FWUL is also actively engaged in college readiness efforts at the local and state level. One activity is the Indiana Higher “College Success Coalition,” a statewide initiative of the Indiana Higher Education Commission. They also partner with the 21st Century scholars program.

Science Central, Inc.
The purpose of the funding is for an internship program that mentors at-risk high school students to prepare them for postsecondary education success and career readiness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The students would be recruited by the Fort Wayne Urban League and the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne. Working with Science Central staff, the students would develop their own Science Central projects and gain experience in time management, perseverance, responsibility, customer service and public speaking. High school volunteers will be recruited by the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Urban League to participate in “Lifetime Learning Lab – A Gateway to STEM Careers” at Science Central. The students will meet weekly with staff to learn about STEM topics, and they will participate in activities that use their exhibits and equipment. The students will also meet STEM professionals at Science Central and at local companies (4 visits) to gain an understanding of job skills, training and education needed for STEM careers. They would also meet STEM professionals and educators who visit Science Central for events such as “lunch with a STEM Professional” and science competitions. The students will also be trained as interns at Science Central and work alongside their staff on the exhibit floor and interact with the public. The teens would learn and practice job-readiness skills such as reporting to work stations on time, cooperating with co-workers, accepting constructive criticism, clearly presenting information, etc. The program will empower the teen-agers to help plan their experiences by selecting the projects and choosing which companies to visit and which STEM careers to explore. This experience should inspire them to consider postsecondary and career paths that they may otherwise never have imagined. To reinforce college and career readiness, Science Central will work with education consultant Steve Doepker, who will help them incorporate his 5 attributes for success into their program. The 5 attributes help students: know themselves, their talents and what they like; learn about career areas which interest them; identify college opportunities; examine costs and scholarship opportunities for postsecondary education; and learn about educational credentials and training needed for careers. They will encourage parental involvement by inviting parents to attend an orientation meeting and other events throughout the year.