KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo’s women’s giving circle awarded nearly $14,000 during its first grant cycle, which will provide funding for eight campus programs led by students, faculty and staff.
The Women of the Well House voted on the projects that provide travel and externship opportunities, and CPR and mental health first aid training for students, and help students serve as mentors and teachers in north central Indiana.
“It’s rewarding to know you’re part of this, and your contribution is going to have such an impact on the people served by the projects funded,” said Cathy Clearwaters, assistant director of development, who helped start the philanthropy group. “Women of the Well House gives women an opportunity to use their resources collectively to make a difference in our community.”
Formed in August 2017, Women of the Well House, inspired by IU’s Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council, is the first women’s philanthropy organization on an IU regional campus.
Membership is open to women who make a $1,000 per year commitment, and each member has a voice in selecting projects to fund.
Projects receiving funding are:
- CPR training for the campus — Funds will be used to purchase updated Manikins, as required by the American Heart Association, to provide CPR training for students in health professions, as well as others on campus. Students in the Division of Allied Health Sciences must have this certification before beginning internships. Kim Mossburg, lecturer in nutritional science, provides the training.
- H.O.P.E. Mentoring Program — The program pairs incarcerated juveniles with college mentors, who support the student in his or her effort to avoid recidivism by obtaining and maintaining employment. It currently runs out of the IU Bloomington and IU Kokomo campus. The grant will support travel of IU Kokomo undergraduate students to the Logansport Correctional Facility and Camp Summit, and will fund an undergraduate assistant for Niki Weller, assistant professor of sociology, the IU Kokomo site coordinator.
- IU Kokomo Cougar Career Experience Externship — About 10 juniors and seniors in humanities programs will shadow IU alumni working in their area of focus, conduct occupational interviews, network, and participate in a business dinner in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brittany Ravas, career and accessibility coordinator, leads the program.
- Mental Health First Aid Facilitator Training (two grants) – The program teaches how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental disorders and substance abuse disorders. Elizabeth Barnett, director of counseling and psychological services, and Audra Dowling, dean of students, will earn certification to provide Mental Health First Aid training to members of the campus and community at large.
- Philosophy for Children — The program’s goal is to help lower socioeconomic status students, and those classified as slow learners, by offering Philosophy for Children training, focused on critical thinking and reasoning, to area elementary school teachers. Jacob Castleberry, a junior from Kokomo, leads this effort.
- Teaching PowerPoint and Digital Storytelling to Women in a Domestic Violence Shelter — Funds cover expenses for students in a Using Computers in Education class to teach computer skills to 15 clients in a domestic violence shelter, to help them transition to independence and gain workforce and/or college success. Christina Romero-Ivanova, acting assistant professor of education, teaches the class.
- Women in Business Student Association WBE trip — Members will visit businesses owned by women in Chicago, to discuss the realities, challenges, and opportunities of being a female entrepreneur and/or executive. It is led by Gabby VanAlstine, director of human resources.
Women of the Well House is open for membership to IU Kokomo faculty and staff, as well as members of the community. All grants fund projects to benefit the campus. For more information about Women of the Well House, contact Clearwaters at 765-455-9410, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.