Indianapolis-based The Mind Trust has secured a $1 million grant from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation. The organization will use the funds to expand community engagement efforts and two fellowship programs. February 9, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Mind Trust will receive a $1 million grant from The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation to help advance The Mind Trust’s goal of providing every Indianapolis student access to a high-quality public school, The Mind Trust announced today.

The Mind Trust will receive the funding for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 years. The award will support The Mind Trust in several key growth areas for the organization, including continuing to attract talented leaders and education entrepreneurs and helping them launch unique and innovative school models in Indianapolis

“The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation invests in efforts that improve the educational and economic outlook of our company's hometown, and The Mind Trust is one of those unique organizations that is accomplishing both,” said Rob Smith, president of the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. “For close to a decade, The Mind Trust has not only accelerated the conversation about innovation in public education, but has produced proven results and significant improvement for public schools in Indianapolis.”

The foundation has supported The Mind Trust with more than $4 million in grant awards since 2009. Specifically, The Mind Trust will use this latest grant to:

Grow its Innovation School Fellowship. The fellowship is a partnership with the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and the City of Indianapolis to help IPS create high-quality “Innovation Network Schools” within IPS. Innovation Network Schools are autonomous public schools that will operate under a contract with IPS and are exempt from IPS administrative practices and many state regulations, giving them the autonomy and accountability that are hallmarks of high performing schools.

Expand the Education Entrepreneur Fellowship. Since 2008, The Mind Trust has seeded the launch of seven education organizations and one charter school through this fellowship, which allows some of the most innovative leaders in the country to address a specific need in education. The Mind Trust will continue to promote and fund the fellowship and anticipates awarding at least two more awards by the end of 2018.

Broaden community engagement. The Mind Trust will continue its aggressive community engagement efforts, launched in 2013, to ensure those most affected by education reform are engaged in conversation. This included hosting a series of community listening sessions in partnership with UNCF, holding a series of education bus tours of high performing district and charter schools and other outreach efforts.

“We are extremely grateful to the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation for supporting our goals of giving every Indianapolis student access to a world-class public school and bringing truly innovative ideas into the classroom,” said David Harris, founder & CEO of The Mind Trust.

Source: The Mind Trust

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