September 16, 2015 – Indianapolis, IN – USA Funds and Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation are partnering to provide the benefits of mentoring support to 100 first-generation and lower-income Indiana college students. Beginning this fall, the program, Project Grow, will serve female undergraduates at Marian University and Ivy Tech Community College. USA Funds is providing a $181,000 grant to pilot the program, with the potential for future expansion, based on results.
“Mentoring is a proven practice to enhance students’ academic achievement, increase their likelihood to persist to graduation, and develop leadership and other skills they will need in the workforce,” said Pat Roe, USA Funds senior program director. “The goals of Project Grow align closely with USA Funds’ focus on Completion With a Purpose, to improve college completion rates tied to career success.”
Students participating in Project Grow will have access to Mentoring Women Network’s proprietary mentoring software, which will match students with up to four different mentors over the year. Participants will also attend four on-site workshops designed to teach career-building skills, including negotiation, mentoring, and networking. Project Grow’s curriculum was created to help participants identify gaps in their mentoring plans, build leadership skills, and gain access to highly qualified mentors throughout the nation.
As part of the pilot program, Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation will study the outcomes of the mentoring relationships. The effectiveness of the program will be measured based on students’ rates of retention and completion of their academic programs; rate of successful transition from college to the workplace; and their development of leadership, communication and other skills that will assist them in their careers.
“We are thrilled to partner with USA Funds, Ivy Tech and Marian University to provide access to mentors and training that will grow the participants’ skills in mentoring, networking, and negotiation,” said Alison Martin-Books, founder of Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation. “In
addition, the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation is committed to ensuring our program is impactful and will be working with the Women’s Leadership Center in Atlanta to research outcomes related to this program. This is a tremendous opportunity to impact the lives of female college students in the state of Indiana.”
About USA Funds: USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a Purpose, building a more purposeful path for America’s students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives. USA Funds pursues its nonprofit mission through philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, and programs and services that enhance preparation for, access to and success in higher education. Learn more at usafunds.org.
About Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation (MWNF): MWNF is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to create a community of empowered women developing one another professionally through mentoring relationships. The Foundation works to provide programming and mentoring resources to women in need. The organization embraces the vision of a world of equal opportunities for women in professional environments. To achieve that vision, Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation will create the largest and most effective mentoring program for women in the world. To learn more about how you can volunteer as a mentor and/or financially support the work of the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation, please visit mentoringwomensnetwork.com.