The Star 12-18-18
Children watch a drone overhead taking photographs at the DeKalb County Promise Walk Into My Future event last September.
AUBURN — The Cairn Foundation, a small, private family foundation that offers grant awards by invitation only, has announced a pending gift of $20,000 to the Promise Student Match Fund held by the Community Foundation of DeKalb County.
“The Cairn Foundation is exceptionally proud to support a program that has the potential to affect the future for hundreds of DeKalb County’s children,” said a representative of the Cairn Foundation.
DeKalb County Promise is a countywide collaboration, built of a large group of partners that seek to ensure that every child in the community has the assets, family, friends and community support necessary to help every child pursue his or her career dream.
Phase two of DeKalb County Promise, enrollment in career savings accounts for grades K-3, will begin at DeKalb County school events this January through March.
Students whose families enroll them in Promise 529 career savings plans will automatically receive $25 in their children’s accounts simply for enrolling. A matching deposit of $25, raised by students through the help of people who believe in their futures, will trigger an additional $75 deposit in each student’s 529 account, the foundation said.
“The Student Match Fund will help give hope to hundreds of children across the county in 2019 as they watch their career savings grow and start to envision bright futures for themselves. Currently, we’re thrilled to be in a position to be able to leverage gifts to DeKalb County Promise. Taking advantage of current match opportunities, this generous gift can make a $40,000 impact on children’s savings accounts,” said Judy Sorg, interim executive director of Community Foundation DeKalb County
As phase one of the DeKalb County Promise initiative, nearly 2,000 DeKalb County students in grades K-3 were taken on a field trip, titled “Walk Into My Future”, in September at the Ivy Tech north campus in Fort Wayne. While at Ivy Tech, students experienced a variety of age-appropriate career stations, including robotics, welding, engineering, and nursing.
The Promise initiative encourages students and their families to obtain the information and tools necessary to increase access to and success in career training or education beyond high school. This includes supporting career discovery, academic readiness, and savings for post-high school learning from an early age.
“Families who ask us, ‘What they can do?’ We ask you to believe in your kids, grandkids, neighbor kids … and tell them directly. Financially, we’re going to provide you with several ways to help the larger community as well as those students you know and care for,” said Matt Bechdol, vice-president of the board of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County.
To learn more about DeKalb County Promise or how to become involved, people may contact Sorg at 925-0311, ext. 303, or send e-mail to JSorg@CFDeKalb.org.