The March-April issue of the Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice magazine will include a feature on the Wabash County Promise and the move to expand that to Promise Indiana.
What is the Promise? It’s creating college savings accounts for young people as early as kindergarten, but it’s also so much more — changing the culture and mindset about the importance of education to young people, families and communities.
Wabash County began its work in 2013. Three more counties (LaGrange, Noble and Whitley) came on board in 2014. Now, applications are open through March 9 for additional pilot counties for the upcoming school year.
Local leadership and support are the keys to success. Data and resources are provided to assist selected counties in a program that is gaining national attention and praise.
Remembers, to see the full story in BizVoice (online and in the mail on February 27).
I went to Wabash (the city, not the college) recently. At one point (1985-88), I was in Wabash full time as sports editor of the local newspaper. Among the highlights during that time: a still celebrated 1986 state baseball championship.
But I digress. The reason for this visit to Wabash was for an upcoming BizVoice magazine story on the Wabash County Promise. And if young, energetic leaders have their way — and there is no reason to doubt them — the program to drive postsecondary educational attainment will one day be the Indiana Promise.
The Promise begins with opening 529 college savings accounts for young students (kindergarten through third grade). It continues with touch points that engage students and parents. It includes a Walk Into My Future day that brings thousands of young people to a college campus.
The initial success is laudable. The local leaders I spoke with know they must continue the work. One, Parker Beauchamp, told me about speaking on campus (with the words really applying to the entire program): “It was about pumping those kids up, having them be part of something positive and letting them have a say in their future.”
The full story will be the in March-April BizVoice, which will include more articles on business-education connections and the possibilities that emerge through strong partnerships.