A hot topic in Indianapolis is employment. But not just employment rates and wages. It’s that with more baby boomers retiring and new industries sprouting, Indianapolis will need an additional 215,000 individuals with job-ready credentials to close the skills gap by 2027. The opportunity is that a large portion of the open positions will yield high pay and career advancement. The focus is how do we prepare our city and its residents for these positions?
Enter the Indy Achieves mentoring program.
In January, we were honored to support Indy Achieves, a comprehensive education program established by Mayor Joe Hogsett and housed at EmployIndy, to make postsecondary credentials and degrees available to every Indianapolis resident. The mentor program was launched in concert with National Mentoring Month and will connect 500 local high school seniors with 100 Indianapolis civic and business leaders to engage in encouraging conversations, helping these youth aspire to reach and complete postsecondary education.
How can a mentoring program help close Indianapolis’ skills gap?
Research finds that one in five college-bound high school graduates who have been accepted to and intend to enroll in college fail to show up on the first day of class due to unforeseen challenges they encounter during the summer months. It’s coined “summer melt”. This problem jumps to two in five students in underserved areas.
However, Mentoring.org has found that with a mentor, at-risk youth are:
- 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
- 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
- 46% less likely than their peers to start using drugs
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
- 130% more than twice as likely to say that they held a leadership position
For these tangible reasons, the Indy Achieves mentor program aims to connect our youth with role models and increase their chances of being successful in making and reaching postsecondary education goals. The Indy Achieves mentor program strategically begins during a senior high school student’s spring semester and runs through his or her first semester of college, helping navigate not only the processes needed to enroll in college, but also making a smooth transition to college life.
Want to know more?
The time commitment for mentors is low, requiring only one hour per month for 10 months to change the lives of youth and adults in Marion County. Mentors assist students in their move to higher education at either Ivy Tech Community College or IUPUI through both scripted and customized text-message and email-based communication from Indy Achieves.
Business and civic leaders interested in volunteering to be a mentor can sign up on the Indy Achieves website. All mentors will go through a background check. Similarly, students can complete a simple form and sign up on the Indy Achieves website as well.
Building Brands That Matter
It was an honor to join Indy Achieves, Mayor Joe Hogsett, Commissioner Teresa Lubbers, IUPUI and Ivy Tech to launch the program and help our Indianapolis youth smoothly transition to a postsecondary institution. At CVR, we are dedicated to building brands that matter and Indy Achieves is definitely a cause that will make an immediate and long-lasting impact in our community.