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Indianapolis, IN – Indiana Latino Institute has received a grant of $2 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis. The grant will support the Strengthening Latino Pathways to Professional Careers initiative.
The Indiana Latino Institute is one of 28 organizations being supported through Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis, an initiative designed to improve the livelihoods of individuals and families facing complex and varied challenges associated with poverty and financial insecurity.
Recognizing socio-economic disparities between the Latino and other communities in Marion County, the Indiana Latino Institute, Ivy Tech Community College, IUPUI, and Marian University are embarking on a five-year project that will reduce poverty by significantly increasing postsecondary education attainment and strengthening career pathways and placement in good jobs for Latino students. Supplementing college-admission and financial aid information for Latino high school students and their parents, and in collaboration with the initiative’s partners also will bolster career guidance and professional mentoring, increase access for Latino students to job internship and volunteering opportunities, and evaluate outcomes and strategies, disseminate findings, and offer technical assistance to other postsecondary institutions through ILI’s Higher Education Consortium.
“Building human capital in Indianapolis’ Latino community, Lilly Endowment’s Enhancing Opportunity grant will help reduce poverty rates by strengthening pathways to college and good jobs,” said Indiana Latino Institute President and CEO Marlene Dotson. “Our collegiate and community partners will work with Indiana Latino Institute to enroll more Latino students and provide them with career-building experiences.”
“We are grateful for the tremendous response we received from the Indianapolis community during a time when organizations were called upon to significantly ramp up their existing programs and services in response to the acute needs brought on by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rob Smith, Lilly Endowment’s Senior Vice President for Collaborative Strategies. “We believe that the projects being funded through this initiative have the potential to improve the lives of a significant number of Indianapolis residents facing the challenges of poverty and financial insecurity.”
Lilly Endowment launched Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis in 2019 because poverty and financial insecurity have been persistent challenges in Marion County. Research has indicated that around 20 percent of residents in the city have been living in poverty and an additional 20 percent have been living close to poverty and struggling to make ends meet.
Through Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis, Lilly Endowment invited eligible organizations to consider how they would work comprehensively with other community partners and employers to help residents make progress toward achieving lasting economic self-sufficiency. Due to the number of high-quality proposals Lilly Endowment received and the compounding challenges COVID-19 brought to bear on already vulnerable individuals and families, Lilly Endowment nearly doubled its initial funding commitment to more than $93 million.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community developmenteducation and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.
About Indiana Latino Institute, Inc.
The Indiana Latino Institute (ILI) is a 501(c)3 statewide non-profit organization serving Latino communities in Indiana since 2001. Our mission is to improve health and advance education for the Indiana Latino community through advocacy, research, and culturally responsive programs.
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