The Diversity & Innovation (DNOVA) Institute has received a grant of over half a million dollars from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help DNOVA sustainably double its impact and increase transformational youth development opportunities on the east side of Indianapolis, Lawrence Township, and Hamilton County.

This mission is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s initiative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana. The aim of the competitive initiative is to help youth-serving organizations working throughout Indiana improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical and social well-being of young people, ages five through 18.

DNOVA is one of 187 organizations receiving grants through Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana. With this funding, we aim to protect and sustain the Innovation Boulevard (iBlvd) Afterschool Program at the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township (MSDLT), double the number of youth impacted per year, and strengthen the organization’s core.

Dr. Luis A Palacio, DNOVA’s Executive Director & CEO, states: “We are very excited to be able to sustainably increase the services and programs we provide for youth development in central Indiana. Youth development and safe environments for learning are critical for our society’s wellbeing and for businesses to thrive. We are proud of the impact we are having in diversifying the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) workforce, and bringing youth closer to STEM. We are thankful by this investment from Lilly Endowment to strengthen our youth programs.”

“Indiana’s youth-serving organizations are crucial to the healthy development of children and youth across the state,’ said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “The challenges these organizations have faced in meeting the needs of young people in recent years have made their work increasingly difficult. Lilly Endowment is pleased to support their efforts to strengthen programs and serve more youth more effectively.”

Lilly Endowment launched Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana Initiative in 2022 with an invitational round of grants to nine national youth-serving organizations to help them expand and enhance the work of their Indiana affiliates or chapters.


About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

About Diversity & Innovation Institute (DNOVA)

DNOVA was founded in 2011 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to provide educational programming for youth interested in science, engineering and technology; to work on research projects of interest; and explore ways to enhance their  creativity in a motivating, hands-on environment through a Comprehensive Service Delivery Model. DNOVA’s mission is to unlock innovative potential through STEM Education for a diverse audience in an inclusive and equitable manner. DNOVA’s vision is a world where ALL people are empowered to live curiously, reach their full potential, and feel they belong.