Purdue University Northwest 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 provide 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.”
Lilly Endowment launched Indiana Youth Programs on Campus in 2021 to help Indiana colleges and universities create new or expand and enhance existing on-campus programs for Hoosier youth, ages 5-18. The endowment 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.
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, while others focused on development of leadership and innovation.
The PNW athletics department offered a variety of sports camps this summer.
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