Member News

Simon Youth Foundation to Award $267,000 in College Scholarships to Indiana Students

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Fifty-four high school graduates from across the state awarded scholarships during a ceremony at the Indianapolis Artsgarden at Circle Centre Mall.

Simon Youth Foundation (SYF), a national nonprofit dedicating to helping students graduate and pursue post-secondary education, will award $267,000 in post-secondary scholarships to 54 high school graduates from around the Hoosier state. SYF will award a total of $1.3 million in scholarships to 406 young people nationwide as part of its annual scholarship programs. Anne Marie Tiernon, local news personality and WTHR-TV anchor, will emcee the presentation, which will take place at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, June 10 at the Indianapolis Artsgarden at Circle Centre Mall.

SYF believes that cost alone should not prevent students from furthering their education, and strives to help eliminate this financial burden through its three Simon Youth Scholarship programs. SYF awards scholarships to graduating seniors wherever there is a Simon mall.

“A college education is more vital now than it was in previous generations,” said Dr. J. Michael Durnil, President and CEO of SYF. “Today, 65% of jobs require a post-secondary credential. We are incredibly proud to support these bright young minds as they pursue their dreams through education. We are fortunate to be able to give back to communities that support our mission throughout the year.”

Scholarship recipients are selected based on academic merit, financial need, work experience and civic involvement. Since its inception 20 years ago, SYF has awarded more $18 million in post-secondary scholarships to students nationwide.

With the incredible support of its corporate partner, Simon, and its Simon Supports Education initiative, SYF is humbled to help Indiana students pursue degrees from esteemed institutions including Butler University, Georgetown University, Indiana University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Ivy Tech Community College, Miami University (OH), Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Southern California.

In addition to the Annual Scholarship Programs, Indiana is home to four Simon Youth Academies: Simon Youth Academy at Circle Centre Mall in Indianapolis, a partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools; Simon Youth Clark-Pleasant Academy in Whiteland, Ind., a partnership with Clark-Pleasant Community Schools and in association with Greenwood Park Mall; Simon Youth Academy at Edinburgh Premium Outlets in Edinburgh, Ind., a partnership with Edinburgh Community Schools; and Simon Youth Academy at McKinley Alternative School in Kokomo, Ind., a partnership with Kokomo School Corporation. Simon Youth Foundation will open its fifth Indiana-based Simon Youth Academy in partnership with Shelbyville Central Schools during the 2019-20 school year.

In addition to the malls associated with Indiana’s Simon Youth Academies, other Indiana-area Simon Malls presenting scholarships to local students at this year’s ceremony include Castleton Square Mall (Indianapolis), College Mall (Bloomington), Fashion Mall at Keystone (Indianapolis), Hamilton Town Center (Noblesville), Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets (Michigan City), Tippecanoe Mall (Lafayette), and University Park Mall (Mishawaka).

2013 Simon Youth Scholarship Recipient from The Fashion Mall at Keystone and Carmel High School graduate, Julian Batts will also deliver remarks at the ceremony to inspire the newest scholarship recipients. Since earning his Simon Youth Community Scholarship in 2013, Batts earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in 2017, and a Master of Science in Education, Higher Education & Student Affairs, from Indiana University in 2019. He is also known for appearing on “Wheel of Fortune” College Week in 2014, and most recently on “The Price is Right” in May 2019.

The scholarship ceremony is part of a larger initiative called Simon Supports Education, which includes several opportunities designed to engage mall patrons in support of SYF’s mission. Consumers can support SYF in a variety of ways while shopping at Simon malls including purchasing an SYF Visa Simon Giftcard. One dollar from the sale of each gift card directly funds the Foundation’s scholarship and graduation programs. In addition, shoppers can opt to donate a Simon Giftcard balance to Simon Youth Foundation. The scholarships awarded at the ceremony are funded largely by Simon Property Group employee and shopper donations.

About Simon Youth Foundation
Simon Youth Foundation (SYF) is a national nonprofit committed to helping students who are on the verge of dropping out of high school graduate and pursue post-secondary educational opportunities. SYF works toward this mission by partnering with local public school districts to launch Simon Youth Academies, alternative classroom settings located primarily in Simon Malls, and by providing Simon Youth Scholarships to Academy graduates and students who live near Simon Malls. Since its inception, SYF has maintained a 90 percent graduation rate at its 35 Simon Youth Academies in 15 states, helping more than 18,800 students graduate, and has awarded more than $18 million in post-secondary scholarships. Visit syf.org to learn more.

About Simon
Simon is a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations and an S&P 100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our properties across North America, Europe, and Asia provide community gathering places for millions of people every day and generate billions in annual sales. For more information, visit simon.com.

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