My name is Angela Henderson. I serve as the Mid-North Promise Program Manager at the The Children’s Museum. The Children’s Museum is a magical place. It's a delight to watch children visit for the first time and see how their eyes light up at the sight of the giant dinosaur that welcomes them to the start of what proves to be a fun-filled day of learning and wonderment. That’s exactly how I felt when I arrived for my first day of work in November 2019!
When we think of the museum, the first thing that comes to mind for many of us are childhood memories of field trips with our classmates, the Carousel, the fun exhibits and experiences, the Yule Slide, and let’s not forget cotton candy! But the museum is so much more to the Mid-North community, it is a neighbor we can depend on!
With being a good neighbor in mind, The Children’s Museum created and operates the Old National Bank Mid-North Promise Program. This initiative helps residents in the who live in one of the six Mid-North neighborhoods surrounding the museum to achieve education and career goals while providing support and resources for families. The program provides college financing options, scholarship opportunities, and job training or certification programs to name a few.
Shortly after the beginning of my time at the world’s biggest and best children's museum, the COVID-19 pandemic brought things to a grinding halt, shuttering schools and business. The museum was no exception. In March 2020 the museum closed its doors to ensure the safety of its staff and visitors.
Despite the loss of the fun fun-filled back drop,the work for the Mid-North Promise Program continued to operate. Our work was more important than ever. Despite hardship, we watched the families of the program continue to have great success. Let me share one example of strength and endurance during these unprecedented times.
Tyla and her family have been members of the Old National Bank Mid-North Promise Program since 2017. Like many others, Tyla faced unforeseen challenges when COVID-19 hit, including the loss of her job. Uncertain what to do next, Tyla reached out to me as her Family Learning Navigator to discuss her options for employment, feelings of uncertainty, and plans for next steps.
It was during this conversation that Tyla expressed an interest in learning the art of floral design. Shortly afterward, Tyla applied and was accepted into a floral design program and received her first Mid-North Promise Program Workforce Scholarship award to help cover the cost for the program. Less than a year later, Tyla now operates a small business called Concrete Blooms as an urban florist.
Additionally, the vast community network of the Mid-North Promise Program was able to connect Tyla with a community partner who was searching for a candidate to fill an open position that matched her skill sets. After successfully interviewing for the position, Tyla received a job offer and is now gainfully employed while completing her floral design program.
This is just one of the many success stories within the Mid-North Promise Program. If you live in one of the six surrounding neighborhoods and would like to learn more, please reach out to us at 317-334-44018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.