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Press Release: “Project Grow” Program Helps Female Students Stay on Track to College Graduation and Career Advancement


Samantha Burke
Pass the Torch for Women Foundation


“Project Grow” Program Helps Female Students Stay on Track to College Graduation and Career Advancement


March 31, 2017 – Indianapolis, IN – Project Grow is addressing barriers women face in graduating from college and advancing into a career. The program pairs local first-generation and underserved female college students with mentors nationwide, and offers curriculum-based leadership skills training. The year-long program launched September 2015 at Ivy Tech Community College and Marian University with 100 student participants. This year, University of Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and IUPUI have joined the Project Grow program to add 137 total students to the Foundation’s vision of a world where all women are equitably represented at all levels of leadership in business and government. Click here to watch the inspiring video of the Foundation’s work in the community.


This groundbreaking partnership between Indianapolis based not-for-profit Pass the Torch for Women Foundation (PTTFW),  Strada Education Network and the five colleges supports PTTFW mission of creating a community that guides women as they navigate their career pathways by providing both mentoring and networking. Project Grow seeks to pair college women from disadvantaged backgrounds with mentors to help advise them through the challenges of succeeding in school, work and life. The program also includes several curriculum-based leadership skills training modules, aligned with unique networking opportunities that connect the students to business professionals. Modules and workshops include: “Building Blocks of Mentoring”, “Grow Your Network and Expand Your Career”, “Building Confidence and Navigating Your Career” , “Professional Networking Etiquette”, Resume Building and Professional Headshot Workshop, Best Version of Yourself Open House, Financially Fit Workshop with Fifth Third Bank, Stress Management Workshop, and Building Authenticity and Confidence Workshop.


The second class of women participating in Project Grow will be featured at the upcoming Project Grow Graduation Ceremony. Students will be celebrated for their dedication to the program and will have the opportunity to share personal testimonials on how the program and their mentoring experiences have made a positive impact on them throughout their time in the community. The public are encouraged to join for the graduation ceremony on April 18th, 2017 at 5:30pm at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and can learn more by visiting the Foundation’s Eventbrite page.


“Project Grow tackles the barriers of women rising to top decision-making levels just as they are beginning their career paths,” said Samantha Burke, National Program Director for Pass the Torch for Women Foundation. “Our partnership with institutions of higher education makes this program particularly unique, allowing us to encourage these women to complete their college education, successfully transition to the workplace, and to develop communication and leadership skills. And, by providing our participants with access to mentors, we are giving them a jumpstart on creating a network of supporters, a critical factor in growing their careers.”


About Project Grow: Students participating in Project Grow have access to the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation’s rolodex of impressive mentors, with up to four different mentors over the year. In addition, eight leadership skills building modules will also be taught to allow students the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Module classes and workshops range from a wide array of topics such as: networking, confidence-building, resume-building, stress management, personal brand, etc. 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.

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About Pass the Torch for Women Foundation (PTTFW): With their peers being in the minority within top decision-making levels, how do women create the connections that allow them to grow as leaders? How do they gain the skills and support to move up the ranks? The Pass the Torch for Women Foundation is addressing this issue in a unique and powerful way. We are creating a community of women and men committed to supporting women throughout their career lifecycles, from college students to emerging leaders to top executives.  This community comes together to provide mentoring, networking and leadership training to help women reach their full potential.

To learn more about how you can volunteer as a mentor and/or financially support the work of the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation, please visit


About Strada Education Network: Strada Education Network ℠ , formerly USA Funds®, is a new kind of nonprofit organization that takes a fresh approach to addressing — and solving — critical higher education and workforce challenges. We advance our guiding principle, Completion with a Purpose®, through a unique combination of strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and innovative solutions to improve the college-to-career connection. Learn more at