Community Foundation Helps Inspire College Dreams For K-2nd-Graders

The Kosciusko County Community Foundation recently awarded a $50,000 grant to support “Kosciusko County Promise,” a pilot program sponsored by the Kosciusko Community YMCA to help students in kindergarten through second grade from throughout Kosciusko County aspire to pursue college or training after high school.
Kosciusko County Promise takes a three-pronged approach to helping young students and their families begin to plan for education beyond high school. Those prongs include tools to help build college discussions into kindergarten through second-grade classroom curriculum; an annual “Walk into My Future” event where kindergarten through second-graders visit and explore a local college campus; and a 529 college savings plan match (for first $25 saved by participating families) for all Kosciusko County students in kindergarten to second grade.
Annually, the Community Foundation’s board of directors selects one project to receive a proactive grant from community funds. The projects that are chosen are ones that help KCCF reach a broad segment of the community, demonstrate innovation and align with the foundation’s strategic goals.
“For the past several years, the Community Foundation has been looking at ways to support education, and in particular to help meet some of education’s most pressing needs in our county,” said Suzie Light, Community Foundation executive director. “We learned from bringing both Dr. Ruby Payne and Dr. Eric Jensen to the community, the importance of all children having a future story. We believe that Kosciusko County Promise offers some simple tools to help children from all socio-economic backgrounds develop their own future story that includes technical training or college.”
The Kosciusko Community YMCA is sponsoring Kosciusko County Promise. Chad Zaucha said, “Students who have their own college savings account are seven times more likely to attend college.  However, this project is not just about saving for post-secondary education.  This project is about instilling hope in our children, investing in the future of our community and ensuring that we are building a foundation where everyone believes they can achieve.”
For more information about Kosciusko County Promise, contact Brenda Faulkner at 574-269-9622.
Since 1968, Kosciusko County Community Foundation Inc. has brought caring people and charitable endeavors together for the good of the community. The Community Foundation is a public charity, and gifts made to the Foundation are tax-deductible. For more information about the Community Foundation, visit, call 574-267-1901, or visit the office at 102 E. Market St., Warsaw.


(Story from the Times Union)