Rise Initiative

Rise Initiative

Thanks to Lilly Endowment Inc., our community’s youth are more engaged than ever.

FHC’s Rise is an initiative that elevates youths’ preparation for and access to high-skill professions.

R: Resilience and Drive Youth will develop the character and drive to surmount challenges, pursue dreams, and perform with integrity and empathy

I: Inquiry and Ingenuity Youth will master skills in critical thinking, teamwork, and communications. They will  follow their curiosity to explore intriguing fields and make discoveries in their professions.

S: Social Impact Youth will appreciate the history and culture of MB. They will apply their character traits  and skills to make positive changes alongside fellow community members.

E: Economic Security Youth will learn mindsets, tools, and skills to manage resources, achieve financial stability,  and build long-term assets. They will thereby sustain their families and the local economy. 

In Rise, our youth advance in teams through middle school, high school, and onward to college and beyond, ascending to promising careers and becoming civic leaders. They grow in self-sufficiency as they complete internships in advanced skill areas, manage personal finances, and receive mentorship from business professionals, scientists, and university students and faculty. Nature and agriculture form a foundation for each youth to build knowledge, think critically, and manage a business. The youth complete science classes and projects with university and private sector partners, run a farm, enter 4-H competitions, earn Junior Master Gardener certifications, and teach local families how to grow and cook nutritious meals. This began in fall 2021 with 112 youth and will eventually engage over 300 youth per year. Lilly Endowment’s grant support will cover 2021 through 2026.

Aster Bekele, FHC’s founder and Executive Director, observes, “Each Rise youth will earn an income by learning and working on our farm and in agriculture, health, and technology companies and nonprofits. Each youth will lead peers, make friends, and have a voice in the future of our neighborhood and city. Each family will become healthier economically, physically, and spiritually. Each Rise partner will shape lives and be inspired by our youth. As Rise grows, we will enhance opportunities for several thousand people.”

About our Rise grantor, Lilly Endowment Inc.:
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, 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. Although the gifts of stock remain a 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. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

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