Purdue University Northwest shares in Lilly Endowment grant to expand programs for K-12 students

Purdue University Northwest shares in Lilly Endowment grant to expand programs for K-12 students

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is among colleges and universities statewide awarded funding through Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Indiana Youth Programs on Campus. The initiative is designed to support higher education institutions in providing high-quality programming for K-12 students.

PNW was awarded $583,000 to expand its existing summer camp offerings for youths and create new academic year programs with optional college credits to create an on-ramp to college.

“We are proud to participate in this statewide initiative to strengthen college and career pathways for Indiana’s youth,” said Kenneth C. Holford, PNW provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “This grant will support several of our academic programs in expanding opportunities for Northwest Indiana students to explore their interests that can lead to undergraduate majors.”

PNW will use the Lilly Endowment funds to support camp programs that span four themes: technology and business; engineering and sciences; humanities and social sciences; and health sciences. These four themes encompass a wide range of student interests, have direct pathways to PNW undergraduate programs, and align with prominent regional industries.

“Purdue Northwest has for many years offered a wide variety of camps and special programs to promote learning opportunities for young people from throughout Northwest Indiana,” said Niaz Latif, PNW’s project director for the Lilly grant implementation, dean of the College of Technology and executive director of the Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center. “From robotics to cybersecurity to forensics, we engage hundreds of students annually with high-quality programs on our campuses. We are grateful to Lilly Endowment for supporting expansion of these opportunities for youths to explore their interests.”

Lilly Endowment launched Indiana Youth Programs on Campus in 2021 to help Indiana colleges and universities in their efforts to create new or expand and enhance existing on-campus programs for Hoosier youth, ages 5-18. The Endowment so far has approved a total of $22.6 million in planning grants and program implementation grants.

“By supporting these efforts, we hope that more young people in Indiana will experience what it’s like to be on a college campus and take part in meaningful programs that can help prepare them for success in college,” said Ted Maple, vice president for education at Lilly Endowment. “It is our belief that these programs will not only add to the academic enrichment of young people but also inspire them to see higher education institutions as part of their plans for life after high school.”

PNW offered more than 20 camps to elementary, middle school and high school students during summer 2022. Many were focused on STEM fields, such as robotics, engineering, construction and cybersecurity. Others focused on development of leadership and innovation while the PNW Athletics department offered a variety of sports camps.

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.  Although the Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Purdue University Northwest

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a premier metropolitan university dedicated to empowering transformational change in our students and in our community. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, PNW values academic excellence, supports growth, and celebrates diversity. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.

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