Press Releases | July 20, 2022

The Mind Trust awards $160,000 in School-Community Partnership Investments to 13 Indianapolis organizations

The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, has awarded $160,000 in School-Community Partnership Investments (SCPI) to 13 Indianapolis organizations. SCPI funds help local organizations provide their high-quality programming to students and families at public charter and innovation schools in Indianapolis.

The 13 organizations are: Amazing Grace Autism Behavioral Learning Center, Aspire House, Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, Brookside Community Development Corporation, Catch the Stars Foundation, Circle City (IN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, Divas Honoring Divas, MarlinJ28, Miles of Smiles Childcare and Preschool, Moms of Indianapolis Melanated Boys, RJM Fit and Healthy, Starfish Initiative, and Weatherhouse Co.

“I’m so excited about the wide variety of partnerships these SCPI awards help create. The Mind Trust is proud to increase the amount of funding and the number of organizations receiving these awards for a third year in a row,” said Lauren I. Peterson, Vice President of Community Engagement. “We look forward to the programs and events for students these awards help support.”

The Mind Trust’s SCPI awards empower community organizations and schools to partner in creating programs that expand educational opportunities for Indianapolis students and families. Strategic community partnerships can be difficult to develop and maintain for schools, with funding a key factor.

Since SCPI awards were first distributed in 2019, over $350,000 in funding has been given to local organizations, the majority of which are led by people of color.

“The Mind Trust is excited for these School-Community Partnership Investments to help community organizations impact more Indianapolis students with programs that encourage academic growth, leadership, arts, social-emotional skills, and much more,” said Shannon Williams, The Mind Trust’s Executive Vice President. “These awards exemplify our belief that it is imperative to create opportunities that amplify the power of families and neighborhoods most impacted by education change.”

“Indianapolis students and families benefit when community organizations support and add to what happens in the classroom,” noted Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “We are thrilled by the breadth of awards this year. They will help ensure the communities most impacted by education change are at the forefront of leading us forward.”

About the awardees

Amazing Grace Autism Behavioral Childcare has been awarded $3,000 to offer Indianapolis charter and Innovation Network schools supplemental enrichment specifically designed for children with autism.

Aspire House Indy has been awarded $25,000 to host Bla-Tina Brainstorm, a STEM-focused summer camp for girls of color. The funding will also help foster a collaborative partnership with Liberty Grove Schools at Elder W. Diggs School 42 in advance of its launch in fall 2022.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis has been awarded $25,000 to support their Power Hour programming at multiple Innovation Network and charter schools. Power Hour is an after-school program designed to offer students support, resources, and guidance for completing homework and refining academic learning.

Brookside Community Development Corporation has been awarded $23,000 to provide reliable internet access and academic after-school support for students specifically in the Brookside neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis.

Catch the Stars Foundation has been awarded $30,000 to aid their Scholar Athlete program that honors Indianapolis-area high school students for excelling academically while making a positive difference in their community. Catch the Stars Foundation’s college scholarships help these exceptional Scholar Athletes pursue their higher education goals.

Circle City (IN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has been awarded $10,000 to provide mentoring, academic and personal support to female students of color who attend Indianapolis area schools. Their program Real World, Real Girls is designed to enhance, educate, and enrich their lives by providing access to resources that will assist them with life skills; planning future goals; adding relevant and complimentary lessons about women innovators and changemakers to their curriculum; and by exposing them to a variety of cultural and self-exploration experiences.

Divas Honoring Divas has been awarded $5,000 to support their Project Help MOM initiative at URBAN ACT Academy at Washington Irving School 14. Project Help MOM is a night for moms to enjoy pampering, dinner, and engage in a facilitated discussion about positive mental health and self-care in relation to healthy parenting. The event offered childcare, with children in attendance also receiving education on mental health resources and age-appropriate tools for supporting self-expression and navigating mental health challenges in school and at home.

Jenna Murray Fit & Healthy LLC has been awarded $1,000 to facilitate educator professional development at Innovation Network Schools focused on self-care, health, wellness, and nutrition.

MarlinJ28 has been awarded $3,000 to provide mentoring and leadership development opportunities for high school students at Rooted School Indianapolis and BELIEVE Circle City High School.

Miles of Smiles Childcare and Preschools has been awarded $10,000 for their Miles of Smiles Mentoring Program – Early Phonics. Participating families are given support to build reading skills with their children at home. The early phonics portion provides students in K-3 with science-backed phonics instruction to ensure they achieve literacy at an early age.

Moms of Indianapolis Melanated Boys (MIMB) has been awarded $10,000 to support the development and enhancement of life skills for African American boys between the ages of 5-14. MIMB provides them access to opportunities and experiences that develop personal wellbeing, interpersonal competence, self-esteem, positive identity, and more.

Starfish Initiative has been awarded $10,000 to support their efforts in empowering youth, families, and communities through one-on-one mentoring. Their free, personalized mentoring targets motivated high school students from vulnerable populations to ensure they successfully transition to college, career, or other post-high school plans.

Weatherhouse Co. has been awarded $5,000 to produce a student-led short-film. Funding helped pay for equipment, location fees, props and costumes, and educational materials. The film was written, created, and directed by a team of Black and Latina students representing Herron-Riverside High School, Herron High School, BELIEVE Circle City High School, and KIPP Indy Legacy High.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented, diverse educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 49 schools, 15 education nonprofit organizations, and has helped place more than 1,800 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms.