Randolph County Promise event, “Walk Into My Future” a success

 RICHMOND – (September 14, 2018)

For the third-grade students in Randolph County, college is no longer simply something they imagine—it is a place they have visited and seen for themselves. On September 14, every third grader in Randolph County visited IU East and IVY Tech for a day full of activities and fun. Students were celebrated for the efforts they are making to “Walk Into the Future.”

The event was a culmination of a month-long awareness push and classroom activities for students. Since July, third grade students’ families in Randolph County have agreed to open a CollegeChoice 529 account.  This is important because when children have a savings account in their name, they are seven times more likely to attend college than similar youth who do not have an account. Students were also celebrated for dreaming about their future.

Each of the activities that are part of the Randolph County Promise will inspire hope for the future in the lives of our youth. The benefits of instilling hope are too numerous to count; hope is the greatest predictor of future success.

IU East and Purdue Polytechnic served as host sponsors for the event. The highlight of the day was seeing the students’ faces as they were each presented with a $1000 scholarship to IU East. They know a post-secondary education is possible for them.

It is inspiring to share the innovation happening in Randolph County and see the spark of opportunity being created in these kids. Instilling the desire for lifelong learning at such a young age is vital to our children’s future educational success.

To learn more about the Randolph County Promise or discuss how you can get involved, please contact
Carol Mills at 765-584-9077 or cmills@randolphcountyfoundation.org.




September 2018 Matching Opportunity

Gifts designated for the Randolph County Promise Community Fund between September 1 and September 29 will be matched .50 cents to each $1 up to $500 per donor. This matching opportunity is made possible by the Winchester Foundation, which has allocated $4,500 for matching purposes. The Winchester Foundation has stepped up to replace a previously shared matching opportunity through Prosperity Now, which has since been delayed.  “We are very grateful to the Winchester Foundation for graciously stepping up to help us raise money for Randolph County children and also for understanding how important it is to incentivize giving” commented Randolph County Promise Committee Chair, Cathy Stephen Miller.

The purpose of the Randolph County Promise Fund is to help third grade students and their parents open College Choice 529 savings plans, which may be used to pay for education beyond high school. Here is how it works:

The Community Foundation will deposit the first $25 into each account. Students and their families are encouraged to add to the account or seek Champions willing to add to it on their behalf. Students that succeed in raising at least $25 for their account will be eligible for up to $75 in matching funds from the Randolph County Promise Community Fund. This is where you come in. Will you help us? Our goal is for every third grade student in Randolph County to know that we believe in them and are willing to invest in their future! Students with a college savings account of $1-$499 are FOUR AND ONE-HALF times more likely to enroll in and complete college than those with no college savings accounts, yet only 11.7% of Indiana students have those accounts. The account raises expectations for their future, planting seeds of hope.

If you would like to help, please write a check made payable to Community Foundation of Randolph County and write Promise on the memo line. Donations may be mailed or dropped off to Community Foundation of Randolph County, 213 South Main Street, Winchester IN 47394. You may also donate online via our website. Visit www.randolphcountyfoundation.org to make a secure, online donation via PayPal. Be sure to note that the donation is for the Promise Randolph County Community Fund. Donations must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 28th to receive the match.

Please call 765.584.9077 for more information or contact the Program Administrator, Carol Mills at cmills@randolphcountyfoundation.org  Thank You!



Promise Indiana promotes saving for post-secondary education through community-driven initiative

College may seem far away to third graders, but Randolph County will bring post-secondary education and careers front of mind for elementary youth and their families through a collaborative effort called “The Promise.” The program makes educational savings a reality by helping families start a CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings account through their school, seeding the account with an initial investment from a local or regional sponsor, and rallying the community to match deposits that families and champions contribute to the account. Randolph County is among the newest group of communities to launch The Promise program, with the support of Promise Indiana, the Indiana Education Savings Authority, and Lilly Endowment, Inc.

The Promise helps families take that first step toward saving, while also integrating college and career discovery activities in the classroom. Pilot counties select a cohort of students to participate, based on community size. Youth in the program not only build assets for post-secondary education and learn about college and careers, but they also visit a college campus for a day of interactive learning and dynamic hands-on experiences called “Walk Into My Future.” Indiana University East will host the event, with college students and faculty leading campus tours and activity stations for elementary-aged youth.


Research from the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion at the University of Kansas shows that youth with a college savings account in their name are between three and four and half times more likely to go to college than those without an account. CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings accounts can be used at any eligible institution—2-year community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities, even trade and technical schools. The Promise program began in Wabash County in 2013, and has expanded each year to new communities selected through a competitive application process. Since 2014, Benton, Blackford, Clay, Fulton, Hancock, Howard, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Porter, Steuben, and Whitley counties have started local Promise programs, as well as Lawrenceburg (Dearborn County) and select communities in Indianapolis (Marion County).

“It was evident that the team from Randolph County had the drive and partnerships to make this a success for the students and families in their community,” said Phil Maurizi, VP of Operations for Promise Indiana. “We look forward to working with all the collaborators to achieve absolute success in their first year, but also to making The Promise program better and stronger with their innovation. Their work will impact not only local youth, but communities around the state of Indiana.”

To get The Promise underway, the Community Foundation of Randolph County assembled a steering committee of local partners including school districts, community and private foundations, local businesses and government, economic development groups, and nonprofits. After setting up their college savings account, youth invite champions—friends, family members, neighbors, coaches, and teachers—to invest in their college savings accounts. Youth who raise $25 in contributions from their champions will receive a matching deposit from a coalition of local partners.

To date, over 13,000 youth around the state have started a CollegeChoice 529 direct savings account through The Promise program. To learn more or get involved with The Promise, contact Carol Mills at the Community Foundation of Randolph County at cmills@randolphcountyfoundation.org or visit www.PromiseIndiana.org.