New Fellowship Designed to Nurture Next Generation of Community Leadership; Incubating In East Chicago, Indiana

EAST CHICAGO, Ind., May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In the interests of
revitalizing struggling communities, an innovative initiative has been created
to challenge young people to design, implement and execute programs that help
municipalities move toward fixing their problems and bring about true social

Called The Greenhouse Fellowship, the initiative is a 12-month program
specifically designed to leverage the natural gift that young people have for
imaginative thinking, resiliency and sociability, and putting it all to work in
addressing the problems affecting their community.

The premise is simple: select 10 newly minted high school graduates based on
their affinity for ideas that take them outside the “norm.” Pair them with the
appropriate local agencies or non-profit organizations within the community.
Then give them the opportunity to create their own social, community development
or community service project over the last six months of their program

The first fellowship will focus on East Chicago, Ind., when it launches in June
2014. Applications will be available to graduating seniors in East Chicago in
the spring of 2014 on the organization’s website,
(For the inaugural program, East Chicago teachers also are being polled for
recommendations among current seniors.)

The program’s organizers – the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) and Insight
Labs – have spent more than 18 months researching the infrastructure needed to
spark revitalization.

“The Greenhouse Fellowship is designed to tap into a resource that many
communities overlook when it comes to redevelopment and promoting social change
– the young people who will become the next generation of leaders within this
community,” explained Russell G. Taylor, executive director of the FEC.

“Working with these talented young people, East Chicago will reap the benefits
of their innovations and ideas when it comes to programs that really make a
difference in their hometown.”

East Chicago is expected to be just the first U.S. community where the
Greenhouse Fellowship plans to provide opportunities to young people. Nearly two
dozen experienced advisors from academia, business, community organizing,
education, government, philanthropy and science are supporting the effort by
participating in an advisory board covering East Chicago and the rest of North
America. Many have voiced an interest in applying the lessons they hope to glean
from East Chicago back to their own communities.

The Foundations of East Chicago is dedicated to leading social change as it
seeks to strengthen and improve the quality of life in East Chicago through
strategic grant and scholarship programs. Since 1997, it has granted over $34
million and issued nearly 700 scholarships. It has invested in more than 250
agencies that serve and support the community. The Insight Labs is a private
foundation that develops and disseminates new models for solving social

Media contacts:
Chris Scott,; 312.835.5200
Sally Hodge,; 773.325.9282

SOURCE Foundations of East Chicago


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