Every year, a group of IUPUI students spend time in Near West IPS schools, talking to youth about their college experience, how to prepare for college and careers, and supporting local families preparing for graduation.
The Daniel Fugate Scholarship Program, part of the Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship Program, is coordinated by the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, by Director of Latino Affairs Cindy Gil.
But the program is led by community partners IPS, George Washington Community High School, and Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Cindy said.
Each year, Fugate Scholars work with more than 120 students in grades 5 – 12 by serving in an IPS school classroom or at the Future Center at George Washington High School. The scholars make college-related presentations in classrooms on topics such as time management, choosing a career or vocation, stress management, scholarships, and sharing their own college journey story. They also serve as technical support and translators for families during the two College Goal Sunday events at the high school, Cindy said.
“As Fugates, it is our privilege to help serve as one more reminder to students in the Near West that higher education is within their reach,” Cindy said.
The program is stemmed in community history, and was named after Daniel Fugate, a local advocate that helped re-open George Washington Community High School. Scholars attend trainings that cover multiple topics, including diversity and identity, mentoring, communicating effectively, goal setting, and sustainability.
Scholars also learn the history of the Near West community and tour the neighborhood, meeting with local residents, businesses and parents of George Washington High School alumni. Through the tour, they see that communities in the Near West are diverse and thriving, Cindy said.
“By doing this, we hope the Fugates begin to make connections between themselves and the community so that as scholars they can both learn and teach. Our experience is a two-way process where everyone, both the scholar and the community, play a vital role,” Cindy said.