Nine emerging leaders—including Butler University Sustainability Coordinator McKenzie Beverage and 2014 graduates Aaron Harrison and Samantha Helferich—will play a pivotal role in setting the stage for implementing the Bicentennial Plan, a visionary, community-unified component of the Plan 2020 initiative and the future of Indianapolis-Marion County.
McKenzie Beverage

Last year, the CityCorps Fellowship program was designed to generate new ideas around defined themes — Choose, Connect, Love, Serve and Work – which were relevant to Plan 2020 committees. This year, Plan 2020 is shifting into the next phase, turning research, data, and ideas into tangible action steps towards improving neighborhoods, increasing connectivity, advancing workforce development and promoting civic engagement in Marion County.

These 2015 Fellows will work to inform technical plans of the city (like the Comprehensive and Regional Center Plans), build capacity for a movement (like #loveindy), and supplement capacity for implementing partners.

Beverage’s focus will be Planning for Resiliency in Indianapolis. This fellowship will lay the groundwork for a resiliency master plan that builds the capacity of Indianapolis residents, communities, businesses, and systems to survive, adapt, and grow regardless of the chronic stresses or acute shocks they experience. It will assess environmental, economic, and social risks confronting Indianapolis, identify related assets, analyze current programs, and recommend a decision‐making framework.

Beverage will facilitate a process to effectively identify, convene, educate and engage stakeholders on the information and tools needed to develop a resiliency plan. A report with the outcomes of this process will be produced.

Harrison and Helferich will work on A Collective Effort: Utilizing and Leveraging the Intellectual and Civic Capacity of Indy’s Youth. Their fellowship creates an executable strategy for engaging Indianapolis’s youth in our city’s efforts to develop and implement the strategic framework necessary to make it a better place to live, work, serve, love, and connect.

This work will create a plan for a scalable program that: (1) utilizes project‐based curriculum co‐developed by Indianapolis educators, entrepreneurs, and community innovators to empower students (grade range to‐be‐determined K – 12) to view their world through the lens of an entrepreneur or community innovator; (2) tasks students with developing solutions to the priorities inspired by those within the Bicentennial Plan; and (3) aligns with Indiana Academic Standards, with a particular emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the arts.

“The fellowship program is a nationally distinctive element of Plan 2020 and will support the committees through cutting edge research and thought creation,” said Brooke Thomas, Deputy Director for the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. “The Fellows will do more than just brainstorm new ideas, they will operationalize their ideas and deliver something that is both innovative, but also supported by data and research.”

CityCorps Fellows were selected through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process issued by Plan 2020. Proposals were evaluated based on the contribution their ideas had on envisioning and improving the future of Indianapolis and addressing specific needs set forth by the Plan 2020 team.


Media contact:
Marc Allan