COACH Kids Receives $132,500 Lilly Endowment Grant

COACH Kids of Clinton County was announced as the recipient of a $132,500 grant from the Lilly Endowment through its competitive initative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana.

The initiative was formulated to aid youth-serving organizations throughout Indiana in improving their programs and outreach opportunities aimed to affect the academic, physical and social well-being of the youth of Indiana between the ages of five and 18.

Katie Schimmel, COACH Kids Executive Director, stated that the organization intends to utilize the funds over the next three years as a catalyst for the organization’s growth in Clinton County. Schimmel expressed that receiving the grant has set months of planning into motion, and she commented that the grant marks the largest grant ever received by COACH Kids.

“We are beyond excited for this opportunity,” Schimmel said. “The impact this grant will have on the youth here in Clinton County is huge. This is just the beginning of many great things to come. I cannot thank Lilly Endowment enough for believing in our mission and the work we plan to complete with their support.”

A majority of the funding will be utilized by COACH Kids for the addition of resources for mentees to prosper in an academic setting and in their personal lives. Schimmel stated that any mentee enrolled with COACH Kids in need of resources may be eligible for funds from the grant to help cover the costs of required materials and more that the family may not be able to afford. The funds will be allocated based on referrals from school staff, mentors, law enforcement and more.

Schimmel stated that portions of the funds will also be utilized for updating the organization’s marketing and advertising abilities to better share its mission and spread awareness of the opportunities that COACH Kids provides to mentees. Funds may be used to improve the COACH Kids website and marketing information and increase engagement on social media channels to allow for ease of access for families and potential mentees to explore the opportunities available.

The funds may also be utilized for additional employment opportunities to compensate for the expected growth of every existing COACH Kids program. Schimmel expressed that the main goal when applying for the grant was to acquire support for the growth of the organization to continue helping all the youth of Clinton County.

“With all the areas that we wrote in this grant, if we are able to do those, it guarantees growth of the organization,” Schimmel said. “We are mainly focusing on the overall growth of exisiting programs for COACH Kids and hitting the untapped potential that there is within the county and meeting the needs of those that we have not had the opportunity to serve yet.”

COACH kids acts as one of the 187 organizations that were announced as recipients of grants through the Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana initiative. Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s Vice President for Education, stated that education-based organizations across Indiana have faced difficulties in meeting the needs of the youth populations in their counties in recent years, and the funds are expected to offset some of the struggles they may face in the future as well as improve their abilities to serve the youth immediately.

“Indiana’s youth-serving organizations are crucial to the healthy development of children and youth across the state,” Maple said. “The challenges these organizations have faced in meeting the needs of young people in recent years have made their work increasingly difficult. Lilly Endowment is pleased to support their efforts to strengthen programs and serve more youth more effectively.”

The Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana initiative was launched in 2022 where nine national youth-serving orgranizations were awarded grants to help expand and enhance the work of their Indiana affiliates or chapters.