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Eli Lilly and Company Foundation Funds Center for Leadership Development

March 24, 2007 by  
Filed under Money/Business

New learning center will more than double group’s community outreach

(Akiit.com) Indianapolis, IN – The Center for Leadership Development (CLD) today announced that it has received a $1.4 million gift from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation for the construction of a new learning center that will expand the organization’s capacity and further enrich its youth programming. The CLD is a non-profit organization fostering the advancement of minority youth in Central Indiana as future professionals, business and community leaders by providing experiences that encourage personal development and educational attainment.

Lilly’s leading gift is part of a larger fundraising project to build the new Lilly Center for Leadership Development. The non-profit organization needs an additional $1 million to reach their capital campaign goal of $4 million. This new facility for CLD programming will be located at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and 24th Streets in downtown Indianapolis.

Dennis Bland, president of the CLD, says that Lilly is playing a significant role in facilitating their ability to more than double their services for Indiana’s minority youth.
“CLD has established a thirty-year track record of empowering African American youth to excel in academics, college, career and life. Lilly has been a supporter since the beginning and has remained a true partner throughout the years,” Bland said. “Together, we are demonstrating our mutual commitment to delivering bold answers for our youth and community.”

Lilly’s partnership with the CLD
Lilly’s support over time will help the CLD reach their goal of serving 2,500 minority youth and their families per year. Currently, the CLD serves more than 1,200 students and their parents annually.

Few youth development experiences in the country rival the combination of range, depth, content and success rates of CLD programming; nearly 80 percent of CLD students will attend college and almost 50 percent of those attending will graduate as compared to the state graduation average for African American college students of 24 percent. The Lilly/CLD partnership also hopes to encourage a greater percentage of Central Indiana students pursuing degrees in math and sciences.

Lilly’s gift will not only increase the number of youth prepared to attend and succeed in college but will also help to provide continuing support for families in the development of well-rounded young adults.

The support from Lilly will be used to assist the CLD in their plans to replicate their programming so that youth outside Indianapolis and the state of Indiana will be exposed to CLD experiences. Other communities in the U.S. view the CLD as a national leader in empowering minority youth and many are contacting the organization to emulate their approach.

“The CLD’s emphasis on building character, improving education, giving back to the community and encouraging leadership and integrity is consistent with the values Lilly supports and desires of it employees. We are fortunate to have many CLD alumni working with us at Lilly demonstrating these important attributes,” said John Lechleiter, Lilly president and chief operating officer. “We support a variety of educational programs in Indiana and nationally to ensure we can continually deliver on our mission to provide medicines that help people live longer, healthier lives – future innovation is in the hands of our brightest youth.”

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