Highlight: Delaware County’s 2015 Mentee of the Year

Project Leadership would like to again congratulate the recipients of the 2015 Mentor and Mentee of the Year awards from this year’s Red Rubber Ball Banquet by highlighting their accomplishments and contributions. The Red Rubber Ball event is held at the end of each academic year to celebrate the hard work, dedication, growth, and relationship building that occurred during the school year. This year’s banquet focused on the importance of persevering when trying to reach goals in order to ultimately attain dreams. We believe that this year’s award winners personified what it means to be a true “Dream Chaser”  and “Dream Maker.”

Taylor Springer: Delaware County 2015 Mentee of the Year

TaylorSpringerIn 2011, when Taylor was interviewed before entering Project Leadership’s mentoring program, she stated that she wanted to be a mentee because one day she hoped to be a good mentor. Today, she is well on her way towards reaching her goals. Taylor was an outstanding student at Wapahani high school. She earned a straight ‘A’ grade point average, and is now gearing up to be a Purdue Boilermaker. From the beginning of Taylor’s time with Project Leadership, she knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. Taylor is now taking the steps to achieve her dream by studying animal science while in college. Here is what her mentor, Brittney Snyder, had to say in her Mentee of the Year nomination:

“There is no doubt in my mind that Taylor will accomplish all of her dreams. Throughout my time as her mentor, Taylor has persevered, regardless of obstacles. She never complains, and never makes excuses. Instead, she simply looks at her options, and takes action to succeed. She challenges herself to become better in everything she does, and encourages others to do the same. There is no one more deserving of this honor than Taylor.”

Once again, congratulations Taylor! Good luck with this upcoming school year – from all of us at Project Leadership!

Let’s Talk Homework Help and Tutoring

Let’s Talk Homework Help and Tutoring

It’s a Sunday evening and you have an Algebra assignment that you need to complete before school on Monday. The only problem is, you don’t remember exactly how your teacher explained two-step linear equations and you left your notes in your locker. Or maybe you are a mentor or parent and your student asks you for homework help but you can’t remember back to your high school chemistry class. What are the options for people stuck in these situations?

The Indiana Youth Institute KIDS COUNT Radio Show covered two different services that could be a major help in the case that a student needs homework help or tutoring. At Project Leadership, we have summarized the information on both the KhanAcademy and the Rose-Hulman Homework Hotline that mentors, mentees, and parents need to know about these great (and FREE) resources.

The Khan Academy is utilized by approximately 13 million users each month. The service is free for everyone with no subscriptions, no fees, and no advertisements.

  • Online 24/7, computer-based help with instructional videos, practice exercises, and personalized learning dashboard
  • Subjects: Math, science, economics and finance, arts and humanities, computing, & official SAT test prep
  • Students K-12th grade & beyond
  • Compliments modern teaching strategies happening in classrooms today
  • Average video is 3-8 minutes long

The Rose-Hulman Homework Hotline is based in Indiana and is founded on Indiana Academic Standards to provide free homework help to thousands of children around the state.

  • Toll-free phone service at 1-877-ASK-ROSE: open 7-10 PM, Sunday-Thursday, September-May
  • Offers online resources: Study guides, test prep, and study skills
  • Subjects: Math and science
  • Students 6-12th grade
  • Tutors are student peers that are carefully selected for proficiency in math, science, and communication
  • Trained to help walk students through solving and understanding problems on their own
  • Average phone call lasts 12 minutes

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of these great resources. Spread the word so that students can get the help that they need!

Project Leadership’s Delaware County office is moving!

Project Leadership’s Delaware County office is moving!

On Wednesday July 15, 2015, Project Leadership’s Delaware County Office is moving!
Project Leadership’s Delaware County staff will transition from a one-room shared space in the Muncie Area Career Center (MACC) to a larger downtown office space at 316 N. Howard Street, on the corner of Howard and Liberty Street.
Project Leadership’s offices have been in the MACC since 2009 when the Grant County-based organization added a Delaware County office. Muncie Community Schools, via the staff at the MACC, have provided administrative support, phone services, and countless other provisions in exchange for our rent payment and valuable services to MCS’ and all of Delaware County’s 21st Century Scholars. It has been a wonderful arrangement.
To be quite honest, the Delaware County staff are a bit woebegone while planning the move. Julie McGee, Director of Mentoring, says, “We will miss our colleagues at the Career Center. We’ve grown quite fond of our office mates at the Career Center, especially Lisa Tuttle who has answered our phones for six years.” Project Leadership would be remiss to not acknowledge the multitude of ways that JoAnn McCowan, Lisa Tuttle and the other staff of the MACC have accommodated and supported Project Leadership in our 6 years at the facility.
Project Leadership encourages our program participants and community partners to change our address and phone number in your contacts. Project Leadership’s move will take place the week of July 13th. Please be patient with us during this transition. Our new office should be operational by Monday July 20, 2015.

Project Leadership’s new contact information for Delaware County:
Project Leadership
316 W. Howard Street
Muncie, IN 47305
(765) 896-8616

Also, most of our Muncie staff will have new emails as well. Please update your email records as well!
Delaware County staff emails:

Julie McGee jmcgee@projectleadership.org
Sue Godfrey sgodfrey@projectleadership.org
Dick Daniel ddaniel@projectleadership.org
Kaye Harrell kharrell@projectleadership.org

*No changes are being made to our Grant County offices. 

$48,984,000 in Indiana Scholarship available. Have you claimed yours?

$48,984,000 in Indiana Scholarship available. Have you claimed yours?

2,041 7th and 8th grade students are eligible in Delaware and Grant Counties.

Each student is eligible for up to $41,552 in 21st Century Scholarships.

Total available scholarship dollars is a whopping $84,807,632.  Nearly  EIGHTY-FIVE MILLION dollars. Folks, that’s a lot of cash. And some of it is earmarked for your family.

But you have to act now!

No seriously. The deadline is coming fast. This isn’t a joke or an infomercial. All eligible 8th grade students must register by June 30th or the opportunity is gone.

I completely understand if you’re asking, “Is this is a gimmic?” I can confidently answer, “No!” It’s a wonderful program that knows it must offer some pretty amazing incentives to help our most fragile kids prepare for their future success.

Thousands of Indiana students have graduated from college using the Twenty-First Century Scholarship, which began in 1990, to incentivize middle school students to plan for their future. The program asks students to sign a “good citizen pledge” and in exchange, they will receive tuition money to any accredited Indiana college. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But it isn’t.

Don’t worry if your child doesn’t seem like “college” material. The Twenty-first Century Scholarship covers costs for apprenticeships, community college and certificate programs as well. Does your child want to be a mechanic, a welder, or a factory worker? All of those careers require some training after high school. The Twenty-first Century Scholars program will provide the financial footing to make training possible for your child.

Eligible students MUST sign up in 7th or 8th grade. You must ACT NOW! As students use the program, there are times that the State of Indiana must make changes to be certain enough funding exists to sustain the program. When you register your 7th grade student before the June 30th deadline, you make certain that your child’s is enrolled and the eligiblity requirements are locked in.

Apply online TODAY!  Or call Camille (765) 747-5250 or Johnny (765) 651-0650 for assistance with enrollment.



8th Annual Red Rubber Ball celebrates Perseverence

8th Annual Red Rubber Ball celebrates Perseverence

On Saturday June 13, 2015, Project Leadership mentors, mentees and families gathered at Marion Ivy Tech’s Conference Center for the 8th annual Red Rubber Ball banquet and celebration.

The Red Rubber Ball event is a time to reflect. It’s a time to celebrate. And this year, it was a time for tears. Our rejoicing came after sobering stories of struggles, which became stories of perseverance. Our tears were happy tears, as we celebrated the courage, tenacity and grit displayed by our students while overcoming difficulties.

With our mentors, mentees and families gathered, the celebration provided opportunity to award and recognize those who have overcome, encouraged and persevered. Project Leadership’s Senior Video debuted, highlighting stories of perseverance, a theme woven throughout the evening.

Mentees shared moving stories of perseverance. Jessica Meza, a first-generation Scholar, who is graduating from Ivy Tech Community College with a Human Service degree, shared her successes in college and her plans for helping others persevere. Ben Brown, Meranda Herbert and Regina Martinez each inspired us with stories of overcoming obstacles; their perseverance stories showed the transformation of difficulty to hope and encouragement.

Project Leadership gave several honors throughout the evening. The Encourager Award, given to someone who Project Leadership considers to be a super mentor to our organization.

Tim Clark of Indiana Youth Institute, the Indiana College Success Mentoring
(ICSM) Initiative Program Manager is the recipient of the 2015 Encourager
Tammy Pearson describes Tim, “For the past four years, this Encourager has not only supported Project Leadership students, families and mentors, but has also shaped the very programming that exists today.

Tim Clark, you are a role model for all.

A teacher to many.

A coach for a privileged few.

And an encourager to Project Leadership and our grateful team.”

Mentee and Mentor of the Year for Delaware and Grant Counties were awarded to nominees for whom the mentoring relationship has impacted their life with growth, change and encouragement.

2015 Mentee of the Year for Grant CountyJenniferHauge

Jennifer Hauge, 2015 graduate of Marion High School. Jennifer is a young lady who works hard, gets good grades and is involved in school and community, and has accomplished all this while having the unspeakable happen. Jennifer lost her mother tragically this year. Jennifer spoke to us about her Red Rubber Ball – to make a difference in someone’s life.


2015 Mentee of the Year for Delaware CountyTaylorSpringer

Taylor Springer, 2015 graduate of Wapahani High School. Mentor Brittany Snyder says of Taylor, “There is no doubt in my mind that Taylor will accomplish all of her dreams. Throughout my time as her mentor, Taylor has persevered, regardless of obstacles. She never complains, and never makes excuses. Instead, she simply looks at her options, and takes action to succeed.”


2015 Mentor of the Year Grant County2015 GC Mentor of the Year

Barb Pack, 2015 Mentor of the Year Grant County has been a mentor to Venita Hayes. A 2015 Graduate of Marion High School, Venita Hayes says of Barb, “Because of Barb, I am a better person and I believe my future is so much stronger. She changed my life, and I couldn’t ask for better.”


2015 Mentor of the Year Delaware CountyKarenHowells

Karen Howells, 2015 Mentor of the Year Delaware County, was visibly moved as she watched a video of her mentee Haley Spurlock, a 2015 graduate of Muncie Central High School. Describing Karen’s impact in her life, Haley said of Karen, “No one is more deserving of this award. Karen has impacted my life so much. I would not be who I am today without her.”


Also honored at the event were Mentors Bill Cramer and Ellen Spitzer, who each have mentored for eight years.


The Red Rubber Ball celebration serves as a touchpoint each year, a time to reflect upon the previous year, and to prepare for the future. Throughout the evening, it became clear: as we tell stories of accomplishing our dreams, we will also share stories of struggles and challenges that were overcome through perseverance and courage. By sharing their accomplishments, our mentees encouraged and inspired us to do the work to reach toward our dreams, and to help others reach for their dreams.


Would you consider joining Project Leadership in our work supporting students? To give to Project Leadership go to www.projectleadership.org/donate.

Interested in learning more about mentoring? Read Six Qualities of a Successful Mentor.

Graduating seniors gather for Scholar Bridge Conference

Graduating seniors gather for Scholar Bridge Conference

Perseverance was the word of the day at the Scholar Bridge Conference.

On Saturday June 13, 21st Century Scholars from nine high schools in four counties gathered at the Marion Ivy Tech campus to learn about making a successful transition from high school to college, and about persevering when facing challenges.

The primary purpose:  To give students parents and mentors the information and inspiration they need 
to be ready for a college campus in the fall.

The summer between high school and college can be a challenging one as recently-graduated high school students navigate the steps necessary to matriculate to a college setting – analyzing financial aid reports, preparing to physically move on campus, and figuring out books and other necessary supplies.

The conference was funded in part by USA Funds in partnership with Project Leadership, the Indiana Youth Institute, Ivy Tech Community College, the 21st Century Scholars program and ISM College Planning.

Sessions throughout the day included:

  • Financial Aid & Money Wise: Robert Sommers with ISM College Planning spoke about the intricacies of college financial aid, including all the steps that are necessary after the FAFSA is filed. “Getting it filed is like the first mile of a marathon,” he said. “There is work you have to do afterwards to get to the finish line.”
  • Grit and Thought Shift: Project Leadership’s Steve Gibson focused on what students need to do to prepare themselves mentally to be successful and were introduced to the concept of grit and its role in determining success at the post-secondary level. He said students need to be willing to seek assistance when they are struggling, whether it be with academics, financial aid, or personal issues. “Your college experience should be a no shame zone,” Gibson said.
  • A post-secondary student panel where students from five different post-secondary settings shared insights about everything from campus life, to studying habits, to recommendations for successful roommate relationships.
  • A financial aid professional panel that focused on insights from financial aid professionals who work directly with college students. Panelists provided general troubleshooting advice, as well as information about issues that pertained specifically to Scholars.
  • Everything Parents and Mentors Should Know: IWU Director of Multiculutural Access and Outreach David Humphrey discussed how mentors and parents can support their students during the transition to college and during the freshman year and beyond. He focused on explaining “staying power” as well and helping students develop realistic expectations.

The conference concluded with students receiving a gift card to assist with school supplies, as well as door prizes donated provided by conference sponsors and local higher education institutions.

SBC Registration

Student at SBC

Periodic Table of Persistance

student panel 2015









Project Leadership mentoring program participants will gather together Mentorpair
Saturday, June 13th, at Ivy Tech’s Marion campus to celebrate a year of programming achievements at the 8th Annual Red Rubber Ball Banquet.

The Red Rubber Ball is a metaphor for your passion in life – what inspires you to chase your dreams every day – and is based upon the series of inspirational books written by Kevin Carroll. The annual Red Rubber Ball Banquet in the Conference Center at Ivy Tech will bring together mentors, mentees, and their families to reflect onRRB2014 mentoring program achievements during the 2014-2015 school year. The banquet will include awarding the mentor and mentee of the year for both Delaware and Grant counties and recognition of all program participants. Banquet registration begins at 5 p.m. with the program beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The Project Leadership mentoring program began in Grant County in 2007 and expanded to Delaware in 2010. The program is for high school and post-secondary students who are 21st Century Scholars. The Scholars program promises four years of free college tuition to low-income students who pledge to graduate from high school,Facebook image achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, agree not to use illegal drugs or alcohol or commit a crime and apply to an eligible Indiana college or technical school.

Project Leadership mentoring matches meet weekly, often over lunch at school. Mentors provide guidance for students to help them stay on track as they navigate their way through high school and to post-secondary settings.




Conference to assist High School seniors’ transition to college.

Conference to assist High School seniors’ transition to college.

bridge post it note

One out of ten 21st Century Scholars graduates from college on time. Only three out of ten graduate at all. These are startling statistics, but ones that can be changed through focused planning and preparation.

A June conference being held in Marion will offer just that kind of assistance – helping 21st Century Scholars prepare for their post-secondary educations. The Scholar Bridge Conference will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 13th, at the Marion Ivy Tech Community College campus, 261 Commerce Drive. The conference is free. Scholars are encouraged to attend with a parent, guardian or mentor.

Whether students plan to attend a four-year college, a two-year college or a certificate program, the conference is designed to help plan for success. Key subjects that will be covered include perseverance, time management and financial literacy. The program will include discussion panels with current post-secondary Scholars sharing their college experiences and advice.

Lunch will be provided to all who attend. Scholars in attendance will also receive a free college survival kit and will be register for door prize drawings.

The Scholar Bridge Conference is being coordinated locally by Project Leadership in partnership with the Indiana Youth Institute, Ivy Tech and USA Funds.

Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program promises four years of free college tuition to low-income students who pledge to graduate from high school, achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, agree not to use illegal drugs or alcohol or commit a crime and apply to an eligible Indiana college or technical school.

For more information about the Scholar Bridge Conference, or to obtain a registration form, call Project Leadership at (765) 651-0650.

Before and After.  Old to New.  Revitalized. Refreshed.

Before and After. Old to New. Revitalized. Refreshed.

Don’t you love to watch renovation shows? The “before and after” of anything: A chair. A room. A whole house. Change can be so inspiring!

Project Leadership has been undergoing a renovation project of its own the past few months. Not to our offices or our programming, but to our website.

And we invite you to come take a tour.

While our look has changed, we are committed to keeping the same mission and vision: paving the way to and through college for local students.

Our programming is still designed to improve educational attainment including degree/certificate completion, particularly for low-income students. We continue to recruit middle school students into the 21st Century Scholars program, provide FAFSA and other labs, and match community volunteers with 21st Century Scholars for our Mentoring Programs.

Today, we invite you to take a look at our renovation project. And please also share this post with your friends. We would love to show them our new look!

Let us recommend a few highlights from our renovation:

ABOUT – Learn more about our program and our team.
IMPACT – The need is staggering. But so is our impact.
INITITIVES – Project Leadership serves students from middle school through college completion. Explore our four tiers of programming.
ENGAGE – Volunteers, donors and partners are crucial to Project Leadership’s work with students. Here you will learn about the different ways you can also become engaged in our work.
KNOWLEDGE – Students and parents can learn more about the college access and success tools available to Indiana students.

Stay connect with Project Leadership and sign up for our Newsletter