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OCRA partners with Indiana Youth Institute in rural communities

June 4th, 2019

Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs have partnered with the Indiana Youth Institute to provide a unique opportunity to retain talent and build assets in rural areas for future generations.

“It is so important that young people in our communities are becoming engaged in their areas,” Crouch said. “When you have a personal stake in your hometown, you are more likely to stay there, which in turn will increase economic development in our state.”

Rural communities are invited to apply for an opportunity to launch a Promise Indiana initiative in their county. The Promise Indiana program works with collaborative communities to encourage saving behaviors, while engaging local schools and community and youth-serving organizations.

“We are excited to partner with the Indiana Youth Institute and Promise Indiana to provide this opportunity to rural communities," said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. “The program benefits not only the community with increasing leadership and capacity building, but also creates a strong sense of place for rural youth.”

Promise Indiana ensures every child has the assets, champions and community support to pursue their dreams by leveraging the entire community to begin saving for post-secondary education and training.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for rural communities to help open the doors to postsecondary education for their children,” said Tami Silverman, President, and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute. “We are thrilled to work with our partners to expand the Promise Indiana initiative and ensure that all Hoosier youth thrive.”

Interested communities must submit an application by June 30, 2019. The application will evaluate the potential capacity of communities based on the following criteria:

  • demonstrated alignment to the program, including leadership partnerships;
  • strength of potential strategy and action;
  • presence of available local skillsets;
  • local community accountability;
  • ability to leverage local resources; and
  • projected geographic reach.

Five communities will receive a wide array of capacity-building services from Indiana Youth Institute to develop a locally responsive collective engagement plan in preparation to become a Promise Indiana community. 

For more information and to access the application, please visit promiseindiana.org.