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DeKalb County Promise Logo


What is DeKalb County Promise? It is a community collaboration, built of a huge group of partners fortunate to have been selected by Promise Indiana as a Promise County in 2018.  We seek to ensure that every child in our DeKalb County (IN) community has the assets, family, friends and community support necessary to help that child pursue his or her career dream.

Starting at an early age, we want to build hope for future careers for all DeKalb County students, and not just for college. There are rewarding careers across manufacturing, life sciences, agriculture and more key industries in Northeast Indiana that do not require a four-year degree, but do require post-high school learning.

These careers also require that a community demonstrates a belief in each child, that our children know: 1) careers are in their futures, 2) that they are firmly in control of accomplishing their dreams, and 3) that we are here helping them prepare and consider the financial realities of any career training or education they might need to get there.

Why are we doing this? Because we know that if a child has between $1 and $499 in a 529 career savings account, she or he is 3 times more likely to complete high school and attend some post-high school career training or education, and 4 times more likely to complete that career training or education. We believe it’s important for every child to have the hope for a bright future.

“Walk Into My Future”

Kindergarten through third grade students of DeKalb County experience a college career training campus through hands-on activities and meet college students to learn about possible future areas of study and careers. Citing the importance of such an experience, Clint Kugler, Wabash County YMCA CEO and Promise Co-founder, said “giving young children that personal experience of imagining they are a post-high school student plants the seed of a dream for their future. It helps change a child’s identity.”

College & Career Discovery

Students participate in college and career discovery in the classroom. Lessons include: “Who will I be when I grow up?”, “Who are my champions who will support me?” and “What does college look like?”

Creating 529 Career Savings Plans

Students have the flexibility to use their savings at any eligible 2- and 4-year college, graduate school, and importantly vocational and career training programs, touching the lives of community members countywide. Students with dedicated funds for education know their futures are bright, and people who believe in them, their champions, are saving for it!

Engaging Champions

Champions encourage students to pursue their dreams or contribute to a student’s career savings account. Eligible students who raise $25 or more from their champions receive a community match!