21st Century Scholar Success Initiative

Supporting Students from Enrollment to Employment

21st Century Fellows at one of the Community Foundation’s Success Fests

Partner Resources Communication Tools Fellowship Success Grants Grant Recognition Guidelines


We know that education is the key to our community’s long-term success. With the support of Lilly Endowment Inc., we began our work in education more than 25 years ago with the Early Years Count Education initiative, addressing the needs of our youngest learners. From there, we extended our reach to elementary school with Responsive Classroom. And we offer a robust slate of scholarships, awarding some $1,000,000 each year to deserving local students.

Now, once again with the support of major grant funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Community Foundation has launched the 21st Century Scholar Success Coalition.

We’re leading a team of more than 20 key partners in K-12 education, higher education, economic development, and social services in a coordinated effort to increase the number of low-income students who achieve well-paying jobs in the region by completing post-secondary degrees through Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program.

St. Joseph County struggles with high rates of generational poverty and below-average median household income. The 2020 pandemic and resulting recession make the work of the 21st Century Scholar Success Initiative more urgent than ever, since improving educational attainment creates the most reliable path out of poverty. State data shows that students who complete the 21st Century Scholars program are on track to close the achievement gap between them and their more affluent peers by 2025. Our coalition is working to provide the comprehensive support and encouragement that these students need to enroll in the 21st Century Scholars program, achieve scholarships, compete their degrees, and advance to well-paying careers.

Together, we’re working to change the futures of thousands of local students.

21st Century Scholar Success Initiative meeting, 2019

  • South Bend Regional Chamber
  • Northern Indiana Workforce Investment Board
  • Indiana University South Bend
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Bethel University
  • Holy Cross College
  • Purdue Polytechnic South Bend
  • South Bend Community School Corporation
  • South Bend Empowerment Zone
  • Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation
  • School City of Mishawaka
  • John Glenn School Corporation
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of St. Joseph County
  • La Casa de Amistad
  • St. Joseph County Public Library
  • United Way of St. Joseph County
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County
  • Robinson Community Learning Center
  • 100 Black Men
  • TriO Programs (Talent Search/Upward Bound)
  • Junior Achievement of St. Joseph County
  • South Bend/Elkhart Regional Partnership
P.O. Box 837, South Bend, IN 46624 | 305 S. Michigan St., South Bend, IN 46601 | Phone: (574) 232-0041 | Fax: (574) 233-1906

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