On Tuesday, October 5, EmployIndy and Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis held a Ribbon Cutting and Open House for Indy Achieves’ new offices on Ivy Tech’s downtown campus, located at 50 W. Fall Creek Parkway, North Drive.
The ribbon cutting ceremony began at 10:45 a.m., with remarks from Indy Achieves’ Matt Impink and Esther Woodson, followed by Ivy Tech Indianapolis Chancellor Dr. Lorenzo Esters, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indy Achieves student Adriyanna Staten and Ivy Tech Indianapolis Student Government Association President and Indy Achieves student Tapiwa Mzumara. The new offices remained open following the ribbon cutting, allowing students to see the new space and connect with Ivy Tech and Indy Achieves representatives.
“We are thrilled to open the Indy Achieves Student Center at Ivy Tech. Over this past year, we were able to award 341 Promise Scholarships and 154 Reconnect Completion Grants to Ivy Tech students and grow our number of onsite student success coaches,” said Matt Impink, VP Postsecondary and Executive Director of Indy Achieves at EmployIndy. “This space will not only support students to complete at Ivy Tech but provide supports for career connection as well.”
Indy Achieves is a promise program created by Mayor Joe Hogsett and housed by EmployIndy, ensuring every Indianapolis resident has access and ability to pursue and complete a postsecondary credential. Eligible new students or former Ivy Tech and IUPUI students with an outstanding balance in Marion County can utilize this grant and wraparound services to earn a credential at no additional cost.
“Since we created the Indy Achieves program in 2018, the importance of its original motivation has only heightened,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “By providing more residents with accessible routes to complete post-secondary education, we are promoting equity and opportunity at a critical time. Today’s ribbon cutting renews that central ambition while marking the continued progress and expansion of this vital program.”
Over the 2020-2021 school year, 1216 grants and scholarships have been awarded to Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI students through Indy Achieves. Much of this is possible by the support from the City of Indianapolis in awarding CARES Act funds to EmployIndy and Indy Achieves to remove financial barriers for Indianapolis residents to enroll in postsecondary and earn a degree or credential. This additional funding and continued support by the administration at Ivy Tech is an integral reason for programmatic success and growth.
“The success of Indy Achieves at Ivy Tech has been life-changing for our students,” said Dr. Lorenzo Esters, chancellor of Ivy Tech Indianapolis. “In fact, one of its recipients is our current Student Government Association President, Tapiwa Mzumara. Tapiwa is a second-year biotechnology major that returned to Ivy Tech after eight years.”
Mzumara is just one of the many Indy Achieves success stories.
After starting her educational journey in 2013, Mzumara had to put her education on hold while caring for her chronically ill mother, dealing with financial hardships, working to become a DACA recipient and unable to pay an outstanding balance.
In 2018 she received the news about Indy Achieves’ Completion Grant that covered outstanding balances to help students return to school.
“Tapiwa has shared this grant changed the trajectory of her life,” Esters added. “We are so proud of everything she and all Indy Achieves recipients have accomplished.”