Meet KIPP Indy Alumnae: Jala and Ila

Jala Powell and Ila Childs are two KIPP Indy alumnae that have big plans for their lives. Jala, now a senior in high school, said she came to KIPP Indy because she needed to be challenged academically. “The curriculum at KIPP required a lot of work and you had to be prepared. As a KIPPster, I learned that without proper preparation and the necessary materials, I wouldn’t be successful,” Jala said. Ila, now a sophomore at Indiana University, is an embodiment of that hard work and effort. As an advertising student with a minor in marketing, she is using her interests and skills to get involved on campus. She is the media relations chair for the Neal Marshall Black Student Alliance and a member of the IU chapter of the NAACP, as well as a member of the marketing committee for IU TV. Both students credit their college preparation to KIPP Through College (KTC), KIPP Indy’s college prep program that is dedicated to getting students not only to college, but through college. KTC places a strong emphasis on making college an attainable goal for every KIPP student. They do this in a multitude of ways: from workshops and college entrance test prep, to campus visits for students from kindergarten and up. Jala said KTC has helped her succeed in high school. “I joined conferences and extracurricular activities because the KTC team recommended them to me.” The KTC team has helped Jala navigate taking the ACT with test prep sessions and provided guidance to her on how to pay for college, with information on loans and grants. Jala hopes to...

College Savings Program Promise Indiana Comes to KIPP Indy

Having a college savings account makes students almost seven times more likely to attend college than those who don’t have an account, according to a 2010 study from Washington University in St. Louis. The study also found that having a savings account was a better way to predict whether a child would attend college than race or family net worth. Knowing this, the KIPP Through College team was thrilled to be selected by Promise Indiana for their innovative college savings initiative. “Through this partnership, KIPP Indy students have the opportunity to open 529 college savings account at no cost to them,” said Randi Perry, who leads the KIPP Through College team. The Marion County Promise pilot, of which KIPP Indy is now a part, was created by Promise Indiana, a Hoosier-focused and led program dedicated to helping students matriculate to college. The program has a multitude of benefits for KIPP Indy families, including: ● No required deposit from a family; the community makes an initial deposit of $25 to the student’s savings account ● Simplified enrollment process, online or paper form ● Opportunity for additional dollars from the community – if a student engages “champions” and raises $25 for their 529 account, the community will deposit an additional $75 ● Money in the account can only be used for a student’s future education expenses – parents cannot withdraw money for any other reason. “The fact that the enrollment process is simplified is going to be really helpful for our families,” said Randi. “We tried to launch a similar program on our own at KIPP Indy a couple of years...