Award Represents Largest External Grant in Foundation’s History

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANASimon Youth Foundation (SYF) is proud to announce it is one of 110 community partners and schools across Indiana to receive a Student Learning Recovery Grant through the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Valued at $368,620, the two-year grant will support SYF’s 10 Indiana Simon Youth Academies, alternative high schools operated in partnership with 10 public school districts.

“For more than 20 years, SYF has been committed to ending the high school dropout crisis,” said Deborah Simon, SYF Board Chair. “As we begin to understand the impact of educational disruptions during the pandemic, SYF’s mission has never been more relevant. This grant will enable SYF to offer hope and a second chance to high school students across the state. I am grateful to the Indiana Department of Education for supporting SYF’s work and prioritizing efforts to help all students succeed, and to the SYF staff for their dedication and efforts that made this possible.”

SYF’s Indiana Simon Youth Academies serve nearly 500 students, a number that grew in the 2020-2021 academic year following the shift to online learning in spring 2020. Simon Youth Academies serve students who are behind in credits due to COVID-19 disruptions, who require flexible schedules because of employment needs, and/or who require an accelerated, individualized learning environment.

The Indiana Simon Youth Academies that will benefit from this grant include:

  • Simon Youth Center Grove Academy (Greenwood), in partnership with Center Grove Community School Corporation
  • Simon Youth Academy at Circle Centre Mall (Indianapolis), in partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Simon Youth Academy at Greenfield-Central Schools (Greenfield), in partnership with Greenfield-Central Community Schools
  • Simon Youth Academy at Indiana Premium Outlets (Edinburgh), in partnership with Edinburgh Community School Corporation
  • Simon Youth Academy at McKinley Alternative School (Kokomo), in partnership with Kokomo School Corporation
  • Simon Youth Academy at Shelbyville Central Schools (Shelbyville), in partnership with Shelbyville Central Schools
  • Simon Youth Clark-Pleasant Academy (Whiteland), in partnership with Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation
  • Simon Youth Academy at Lawrence Township (Indianapolis), in partnership with Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township
  • Simon Youth Academy at Richmond High School (Richmond), in partnership with Richmond Community Schools
  • Simon Youth Hope Academy (Indianapolis), in partnership with Hope Academy Inc.

SYF’s $368,620 grant, the largest external grant in the Foundation’s history, will be used to support post-secondary scholarships, teacher professional development, student college visits and civic learning trips, workforce development collaborations, social-emotional wellness activities, student resources, technology, and more at each of SYF’s 10 Indiana Simon Youth Academies.

In total, the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program will serve students in 83 of Indiana’s 92 counties. Created by House Enrolled Act 1008(link is external), the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program and Fund allocates $150 million to accelerate learning partnerships to support students across all grades, with a focus on partnerships between community organizations and schools. 

About Simon Youth Foundation
Simon Youth Foundation (SYF) is a national nonprofit committed to helping students reach graduation day. SYF executes this mission by partnering with local public school districts to launch Simon Youth Academies, alternative high schools located primarily in Simon malls, and by awarding Simon Youth Scholarships to graduating high school seniors. By the start of the 2021-22 academic year, SYF will have helped more than 22,000 students earn their diplomas through 44 Simon Youth Academies in 16 states, and will have awarded over $20 million in post-secondary scholarships.

Media Contact:
Lauren B. Rapp
Strategy & Special Projects, SYF