Indiana State University has received a grant of $800,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Indiana Youth Programs on Campus. 

The grant will help ISU expand its summer camp offerings focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) to elementary, middle, and high school youth, and increase their access to summer programs. 

“Indiana State University’s excellent summer programs serve many young people in our region, and we are looking forward to reaching more of them through this grant,” said ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis. “Our youth deserve rich educational experiences that will lay the foundation for growth and accomplishment later in life and we appreciate Lilly Endowment’s investment in this important work.” 

Vice President for University Engagement Dr. Nancy Rogers also expressed gratitude to Lilly Endowment for the grant, which will exponentially increase ISU’s outreach to children and youth during the summer months. “Our expanded summer camp program will build upon ISU’s expertise in STEAM-related disciplines and our longstanding commitment to community engagement,” Rogers said. “I am especially enthusiastic about expanding our partnerships with Camp Navigate, Camp Rave, as well as the Vigo County School Corporation and other west-central Indiana schools.”

“Hundreds of children that may otherwise not have an opportunity to visit a college campus will have the opportunity to spend at least a week with us in an outcomes-based and fun summer camp program that will help them learn new skills, make new friends, and envision a future that includes college.”

The grant also supports the creation of an early outreach program for parents. “College is a significant investment for families. We want to encourage families to plan and prepare for college at all stages of their children’s K-12 education,” Rogers said.

         

Lilly Endowment’s Indiana Youth Programs on Campus is designed to help Indiana colleges and universities to engage youth, ages 5 to 18, in high-quality on-campus enrichment programs that can help young people envision a future for themselves in college. 

Lilly Endowment launched the initiative, in part, to respond to the significant decrease in the number of Hoosiers pursuing higher education degrees. In 2015, 65 percent of Indiana high school graduates were going straight to college. The college going rate has dropped steadily since. In 2020, only 53 percent of Hoosiers were attending college the year after high school. Goals for the initiative include increasing the number of Indiana youth who obtain valuable postsecondary degrees and credentials and to help schools strengthen how they recruit students, especially students who have been traditionally underserved by higher education institutions.