Promise Indiana is a community-owned Children’s Savings Account intervention designed to equip young children and their families with the financial resources, college-bound identities, community support, and savings behaviors associated with positive educational outcomes. Promise Indiana began as the Wabash County Promise, the vision of the Wabash County YMCA and local school leaders. Concerned about persistent disparities in educational attainment and frustrated by low participation in the state’s 529 college savings plan, Wabash County YMCA CEO Clint Kugler and his team created a community-driven approach to children’s savings. Building on the YMCA’s experience helping individuals to change behaviors and buoyed by strong interest from allies, what is now Promise Indiana endeavored to activate families and communities for the task of preparing children for college. In the process, they pioneered a model for cultivating college-bound identities and transforming 529s into powerful and progressive Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs).
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