The Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) today announced that nine programs designed to enrich the lives of local residents have been awarded $654,270 in funding under the 2014 Collaboration Grant Program.


“We are impressed with the way local organizations and institutions have forged valuable bonds to devise meaningful ways to meet the needs of our community,” said Russell G. Taylor, Executive Director of FEC.


“This particular grant round continues to be refined and improved, and we’re seeing impressive outcomes for several projects and creative thinking about new initiatives that will deliver impact,” he said. “They all combine to demonstrate the value of collaboration as a means of making the most of resources and capabilities on behalf of our residents.”


The nine collaborations approved for funding include three continuing programs that have proven out for sustained support and six that have been newly created:


“Moms Taking Charge” This initiative was originally launched in 2010, as one of the inaugural initiatives under the FEC’s Collaboration Grant program. Led by Healthy East Chicago Inc., it aims to have young mothers help mothers-in-need learn how to become self-sufficient. It partners with ten local agencies, from the Salvation Army to Haven House, to ensure they are aware of and learn how to access services.


“One Dream, One East Chicago” Another early initiative, this program is led by Immigrant Support and Assistance Center. It aims to help families whose members face detainment or arrest due to questionable or undocumented legal status. Legal and other counseling and financial assistance is provided through collaborating partners, including Our Lady Guadalupe Church and Union Benfica Mexicana.


“East Chicago Hope and Opportunity” (ECHO)” This initiative was launched in 2010. It seeks to foster a greater level of family engagement in the community to foster better educational outcomes for children in primary grades through high school. Led by the NWI Interfaith Foundation, it includes collaborating partners IRON, LULAC, PTA and Faith Temple COGIC.


“Voyage to Mars” This program is led by Challenger Learning Center, a program that intends to equip local sixth grade educators to better educate, inspire and engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The problem-based learning modules prepare students for a Voyage to Mars mission.  Also involved are the NWI Education Service Center and School City of East Chicago.


“Charting for Success” This is designed to help East Chicago students and parents plan for post-secondary education and/or training. The lead agency is Communities in Schools of Lake County, collaborating with Ivy Tech, Calumet College of St. Joseph and Top 20, Inc.


“99 and One Outreach Connection” This initiative intends to address factors that negatively impact East Chicago’s ability to offer a safe and viable environment. It will rely on collaborators’ core competencies to connect with the disadvantaged, starting with the homeless or near-homeless. Led by Grace Beyond Borders, other collaborating partners are the Salvation Army and We Care From the Heart.


“Project Impact” A program led by Greater Destiny Bible Church, it aims to reach 50 youths aged 10 through 18 with programs to help them achieve a healthy lifestyle. Collaborating partners include East Chicago Katherine House Boys & Girls, and Revolution Dance Academy.


“Integrating and Sustaining Families” This initiative seeks to empower residents with a range of programs – from life skills training and citizenship counseling to education and tutoring – that will help them improve their quality of life. Collaborating partners include International Community Alliance (lead), Calumet College of St. Joseph, Center of Workforce Innovations and Work One.


“It’s My Future” This is an outreach program designed to inspire East Chicago middle school students to recognize their career potential and aspirations and the role of education in getting there. Junior Achievement is the lead agency, with collaborating partners Purdue University Calumet Leadership Center and Northwest Indiana Society of Human Resources Managers (NWI SHRM).



About the Foundations of East Chicago 

The Foundations of East Chicago is dedicated to leading social change as it seeks to strengthen and improve the quality of life in East Chicago through strategic grant and scholarship programs. Since 1997, it has awarded over $34 million in grants to over 250 agencies.  Of this number, $3.76 million have gone to 42 collaborations over a four-year timespan.  It has also issued more than 700 scholarships worth a total of nearly $5.4 million.


For further information contact: Rosa Pena, FEC’s Office Administration Director, or 219.392.4225.