IUPUI had some big dreamers visiting their campus on September 29! As a part of the Hancock County Promise, nearly 1,000 kindergarteners flooded the IUPUI campus and was involved in activities that helped inspire their futures beyond high school. This inaugural event was held at IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
The Hancock County Promise was one of four entities this year to receive a grant from the Promise Indiana program. The Promise program aims to foster a community-wide culture where all students have the opportunity to open a CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Account. The program strives to ensure every student believes they can have a post-secondary education and has their community’s support.
At IUPUI, students “Walked into Their Future” and dreamt of their life after high school. They were engaged with hands-on activities, met college students, took a short campus tour, and learned about possible careers or areas of study. Some of the various stations the kindergarteners visited include: making an IUPUI Pennant, creating a book, learning about needs versus wants, playing soccer and bingo bonanza.
Each district or school, identified in their individual color shirts, made the promise that if they work hard, their community will work hard to help them be successful in pursuing their dreams. Teachers prepared students before the field trip by showing a virtual campus tour, discussing goals after high school and talking about college. Interestingly, several tears were shed when the kindergarteners learned they would be leaving their parents to go to college!
Boyd Bradshaw, the IUPUI Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, stated, “IUPUI is excited to welcome the kindergarteners of Hancock County to campus! For many of these students, this will be their first time on a college campus. We will encourage them to think about their futures and to learn how college can help them accomplish their goals and dreams. Through the use of interactive stations, the kids will be able to participate in various activities to explore a sample of the vast range of professions available to them when they obtain a college degree.”
Mr. Scott Shipley is the Hancock County Promise Director and also the Director of Secondary Education at the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation. Shipley reached out to IUPUI and coordinated this adventure for the Hancock County kindergarteners. Shipley states, “We are pleased with the partnership with IUPUI and are looking forward to inspiring the kindergarteners with dreams and hopes for their future. Hancock County is proud to showcase IUPUI to students as a great institution with many career opportunities to pursue.”
The Hancock County Promise has six steps:
1) Kindergarten parents sign up online for the Hancock County Promise www.HancockCountyPromise.org, and follow the email to open a CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings account for the child
2) Receive $25 contribution in each kindergartener’s 529 account from the following community partners: Hancock Health, Greenfield Banking Company, NineStar, The EMS Group and Tyner Pond
3) All Hancock County kindergarteners, with or without a 529 Direct Savings Account, visit IUPUI and dream of their future
4) Kindergarteners receive their own piggy bank at school, along with lessons from their teacher on saving for their future
5) Kindergarteners find champions to donate $25+ to their 529 Direct Savings Account
6) Another $25 is donated into the kindergartener’s 529 Direct Savings Account by local community partners, such as Meijer for the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation kindergarteners.
The IUPUI “Dream of Their Future” activity is a capstone event for the Hancock County Promise program and helps implement the culture where the community believes a post-secondary education can be attained by all. www.HancockCountyPromise.org