HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – United Way of Southwestern Indiana (UWSWI) announced an investment of nearly $470,000 into programs improving school engagement for local children and youth, prioritizing services to low-income students.

The funding opportunity is the first Thriving Next Gen Pathway Grant since UWSWI shifted its focus to address root causes of poverty. Officials say a rigorous evaluation process was utilized to select the following nonprofit programs:

  • EVSC Foundation will receive $211,876 to pilot an International Newcomer’s Academy, which will provide dedicated staff to support English as a second language (ESL) students and families. The academy’s staff will connect ESL students with mentors and paid internship opportunities to enable ESL students to balance supporting their families and staying in school.
  • YWCA, a long-time Partner Agency, will receive $156,000 to expand its girls’ Live Y’ers program to serve low-income boys, with a focus on boys of color. The Live Y’ers mentoring and afterschool program provides STEM and reading enrichment, and the program boasts a 100% high-school graduation rate.
  • Youth First will receive $99,290 to help underwrite the cost of adding social work staff to two Warrick County middle schools.

Officials say UWSWI grant applications are evaluated by local experts in each respective Pathway, as well as financial experts.