FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Over 2,000 Dekalb County students got off the bus this morning at Ivy Tech in Fort Wayne and got a look at their futures.
Even though it may seem early to think about college for students third grade and younger, Lakewood Park Christian Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Burris says it's the right time to start.
"It's planting a seed in the life of a 6 or 7 year to say we believe in you, you have potential, and here's how we're going to show you and give you exposure to lots of different things," Burris said.
That exposure is coming from the Dekalb Promise. It's a program originally designed to help families set up 529 plans for college savings, but has now expanded to much more than that says Ivy Tech's Kassandra Flanagan.
She explained "They're here on Ivy Tech's campus to see that you don't have to do that 4-year bachelor degree. You can come to Ivy Tech and get a 2-year degree and get a certificate, a technical certificate so they just see that there are different options."
Students got the chance to explore medical careers, jobs in construction, and working on large trucks as well, all jobs within Dekalb County.
Now that the program is in its second year, Garrett-Keyser-Butler Superintendent Tonya Weaver knows the Dekalb Promise program is already working for some of her young students.
"They shared with me what they want to do," Weaver said. "They have a plan for their future, they can see themselves in those careers and creating those opportunities, which is really neat."
The program also partners with the Community Foundation of Dekalb County, who hopes these programs keeps their talent close to home
Judith Sorg with the Community Foundation of Dekalb County said "We would love for them to stay in Dekalb County. We also understand that sometimes their career choice may taken them outside of Dekalb County. However, a lot of them come back once they settle down and have a family, so we hope they will remember where they came from."
More information on the Dekalb Promise can be found here.