Lilly Endowment Capacity Building Grant News Release | Elevate Indianapolis

October 26, 2022
Media Contact: Jackson Gutierrez, Engagement Manager
909.851.7690 | 

Elevate Indianapolis expanding its capacity for life-changing impact over the next three years. 

INDIANAPOLIS – With a support from Lilly Endowment in the amount of $650,000.00 Elevate Indianapolis will spend the next three years expanding its capacity for mentoring youth for post-secondary success.  Elevate Indy will build on the existing strong foundation and continue to scale to reach and serve more students to have a broader impact in the Indianapolis community, specifically for great college and career readiness. The Elevate Indy impact theme for the 2022-2023 program year is “Deep & Wide.”  

Currently, Elevate Indy serves Indianapolis Public Schools middle and high school students in Arsenal Tech High School, George Washington High School, Harshman Middle School, School 74, and Matchbook Learning at School 63. As Elevate uses the grant funds to expand into new schools, widen its base of collaborative partnerships, and increase the number of students served, the organization will remain committed to providing holistic support to current students and its growing alumni base.  

Elevate Indy President & CEO Aaron Story shared this about the new grant: “The belief of our community in the impact and outcomes of Elevate for the season ahead continues to leave me inspired as to the potential of what we can do. The Elevate Indy staff is positioned for a much greater impact in the next 5 to 10 years thanks to the generous grant from Lilly Endowment.”  

Elevate Indy will focus its capacity-building efforts on strategic planning that includes talent development and retention, aligning a comprehensive fundraising and marketing plan, and creating an advanced college and career program designed to strengthen the agency of students and their families.  Elevate Indy has already identified contractors and hired a full-time operations manager to start laying the groundwork for this multi-year expansion. In this year alone, Elevate Indy is positioning itself to projected to serve nearly 1,000 students and alumni, more than ever. 

Elevate Indy Board Chair Steve Cosler says, “We are thrilled that Lilly Endowment sees value in the Elevate model and the potential it has as we continue to expand across the Indianapolis Public School district.  Their support will help change the trajectory of many deserving, talented young men and women.” 

About Lilly Endowment 
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. To learn more about Lilly Endowment, please visit

About Elevate Indianapolis 
Elevate Indianapolis, Inc. builds long-term, life-changing relationships with Indianapolis urban youth, equipping them to thrive and contribute to their community. They do this missional work with 4th through 12th graders and program alumni using a model developed 40 years ago in Denver, Colorado that is currently used in 17 cities across America through the Elevate USA network of affiliates. This program includes four key elements: Accredited Classes in character & life skills during the school day and three types of after-school mentoring with students–Pathways to Purpose college & career programming, “life on life” mentoring, and Sports & Adventure programming, executed by a staff of full-time Teacher-Mentors who are representative of the students we serve. Our Teacher-Mentors spend half their time with students during the school day and half their time with them after school in a 24/7/365 relational mentoring model where they are accessible to students on a personal basis. In the 2021-22 program year, Elevate Indianapolis served over 700 students and recent graduates of five Indianapolis Public Schools. To learn more about the impact of Elevate Indy, please visit