Learn more about our recent projects, partnerships and involvements, as well as other updates from the Foundation.

Air Force Association Fort Wayne Chapter 143 (AFA)

  • Program: CyberPatriot STEM Education Program
  • Grant Award Amount $10,000

The CyberPatriot STEM Education Program is designed to support STEM awareness, education and competition at the high schools and some middle schools throughout Northeast Indiana counties with elementary school programs geared toward younger students to help them develop computer skills with a basic introduction to cyber security. The AFA Chapter in Fort Wayne members volunteer to run the programs and the competitions and want to improve NE IN student STEM skills on an even wider level.

CyberPatriot is the AFA’s National Youth Cyber Education Program, created to motivate students towards careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering disciplines. The program features the national Youth Cyber Defense Competition for high school and middle school students, Cyber Camps, and an Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative. The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition is an online tournament structured event in which teams of 2-6 students are scored on how well they identify and secure known vulnerabilities on a virtual network. After a series of online qualification rounds, the top teams advance to the National Finals Competition.

During this competition, they learn communication skills and working as a team. Winners are awarded scholarships and all registered competitors are eligible to apply for internship opportunities. It creates a career path for students, fostering continued education from high school through college and into the beginning of their careers.

Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana, Inc.

  • Program: Employability and Work Readiness Program
  • Grant Award Amount $20,000

Easterseals Arc will work to increase employability and work readiness serving 60 transition-age youth with intellectual/developmental disabilities from Wayne High School and Homestead High school. This project will include information/support provided to caregivers and educational counseling provided through Ivy Tech Community College. 100% of youth served will create an employment plan or plan for post-secondary education, using interest inventories, learning inventories and other resource; will explore jobs and gain job skills through community-based job training opportunities, including meaningful volunteer opportunities, internships and job shadowing opportunities. They will be partnering with FWCS, SWAS, Vocational Rehabilitation and Ivy Tech Community College, local employers, WorkOne NE and other community partners to provide job exploration, work-based learning experiences and readiness and, campus tours and educational counseling.

Their goal is to provide employment-focused transition services to 60 high school individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and to prepare these youth to pursue either education opportunities or integrated competitive employment when they exit the school system.

Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana

  • Program: Entrepreneurial Summer Camps
  • Grant Award Amount $50,000

Junior Achievement is developing and implementing new Entrepreneurial Summer camps. At the Entrepreneurial Summer Camps, students will participate in fun, hands-on activities that develop their creativity, their innovation, their problem-solving skills, their soft skills and their business acumen. Through programs such as the Entrepreneurial Summer Camps, they encourage students to remain in NE IN for their education and careers, empower students to make informed education and career choices, and facilitate entrepreneurship. Each year JA of NE IN serves more than 53,000 students within Allen County alone.

Region 8 Educational Service Center – Renewal of Makerspace Education

  • Program: Makerspace Education Program
  • Grant Award Amount $59,900

The Makerspace education/21st century education for schools will be continued with this grant. In the prior year, teachers were trained on STEM elements and Project Based Learning and 21st Century skills were introduced.. Now that these concepts are firmly embedded in the program, the second year of the program will emphasize and embody in the program more elements of Project Based Learning and 21st Century skills since the foundation has been laid for further expanding these skills.

Students will now be provided an opportunity to take more ownership of their learning by studying, processing, creating in areas of their interest, artistic expression while building 21st century skills. They will participate in activities that facilitate the following: critical thinking and problem-solving skills; collaboration skills; agility and adaptability; initiative and entrepreneurism, effective oral and written communication, and ability to access and analyze information.

The first year they trained 45 teachers, 4 administrators, reached 24 schools, from 13 NE Indiana districts. Their goal for year 2 is to hold 8 more workshops training up to 40 more participants and reaching a low of 4,000 and a high of 18,000 more students.