About 1,600 Howard, Carroll and Clinton county kindergarteners took their first steps towards education after high school at Indiana University Kokomo on Friday through a program called Walk into My Future.
IUK faculty, staff, students and area volunteers greeted the busloads of children as they visited the campus for the first time.
The event featured 35 career stations where the kindergarteners learned about radio, business, chemistry, nursing and more, all at a kindergarten level, along with a campus tour to reveal the possibilities of their future.
Walk into My Future is part of the Howard County Promise that gives students the opportunity to imagine the possibilities their futures hold.
During kindergarten registration countywide, students were invited to open College Choice Direct 529 Savings Accounts – each with a $25 initial gift from Community Foundation of Howard County.
Students are also inviting “champions” – neighbors, relatives and friends – to add to their new college savings accounts. Children who receive at least $25 from a champion will receive a gift of $75 matching funds from NIPSCO and other community partners.
“The Howard County Promise is such a wonderful opportunity for kindergarteners to dream about their futures at such a young age, and we have been honored to help incubate this program these past four years,” said Abbie Smith, president of United Way of Howard County, in a press release.
“We are excited to see this program grow through its next stages in life with the YMCA.”
Trish Severns, interim CEO of the Kokomo Family YMCA, added, “Our team is excited to take the reins of the Howard County Promise and further develop the idea of a 529 College Savings Account for kindergarteners. Believing in yourself and your ability to further your education past high school is wonderful to have as a child, and we are lucky to be a part of this amazing program.”