The Star 11-28-18
Photo Caption: DeKalb Health CEO Tasha Eicher, right, meets with Chancellor Jerrilee Mosier of Ivy Tech on Sept. 20 during the Walk Into My Future event sponsored by DeKalb County Promise.
AUBURN — DeKalb Health has pledged to donate $15,000 annually for three years to DeKalb County Promise, which helps children save money and set goals for post-high-school education.
“Having a vision for your future at an early age is very important for all children,” said Tasha Eicher, CEO of DeKalb Health.
“We wanted to make a commitment based on the children we touch each year out of our Family Birthplace,” Eicher said. DeKalb Health based its pledge on approximately $50 per birth each year.
“We would love to be able to see this number grow,” Eicher added.
“When we were first approached about the promise, it was in relation to the Walk Into My Future,” Eicher said. The event took 2,200 DeKalb County students in grades K-3 to visit the Ivy Tech campus in Fort Wayne on Sept. 20.
“What an amazing day it was,” Eicher said. “To see all of the children at the campus was pretty incredible.”
Eicher watched as children experienced robotics and visited Ivy Tech’s auto mechanics program.
“All of the things the kids got to see that might be their future was pretty amazing,” Eicher said.
“DeKalb Health clearly understands the important link between health and education levels,” said Judy Sorg, director of Learning Link and interim director for Community Foundation DeKalb County. “Adults with more education tend to live longer, healthier lives compared to those with fewer years of schooling, for a variety of reasons.”
Sorg added, “As convener of this community-wide initiative, our Community Foundation and Learning Link are thankful for the foresight of DeKalb Health’s leaders and their generous commitment that demonstrates to our children that this community cares about their dreams for the future.”
“DeKalb Health has supported generations of families in our county since the early sixties,” said Matt Bechdol, vice-president of the Community Foundation Board of Directors.
“But their vision and leadership does not stop with physicians, nurses, therapists and state-of-the-art facilities,” Bechdol added. “Healthcare, nutrition and wellness are critical to student learning and developing the next generation of lifelong learners. This makes them an important Promise DeKalb County supporter of both human and financial capital.”
A project of Community Foundation DeKalb County, the DeKalb County Promise initiative helps families start 529 career savings plans for children in kindergarten through grade 3.
In early 2019, DeKalb County families will be given the opportunity to enroll their children in grades K-3 for 529 career savings accounts at no cost to the families. Each family enrolling will receive an initial $25 deposit into the child’s account.
DeKalb Health’s pledge adds to previously announced major pledges by The James Foundation and Ambassador Enterprises,
DeKalb is one of 25 counties across the state that have joined in Promise Indiana to support post-secondary education for all young people.
DeKalb County Promise also is sponsoring career-focused discovery activities in elementary-school classrooms.
DeKalb County Promise is a partnership between the Community Foundation DeKalb County, the DeKalb County Central, DeKalb County Eastern and Garrett-Keyser-Butler public school districts, Lakewood Park Christian and St. Joseph Catholic private schools and the homeschool community of DeKalb County.