Giving Highlights: July 2018 Opus Foundation Grantees Report Successful Outcomes, Growth


​The Opus Foundation® is dedicated to building community for a better tomorrow. In July 2018, the Foundation awarded $1.4 million in Impact Fund grants to 15 nonprofits. Following the completion of their programs, grantees submit a report showing the impact of the Foundation's giving. Below, you can read updates from three July 2018 grantees: iMentor Chicago, Johnson County Community Foundation – Aspire Johnson County and St. Louis County Library Foundation.

iMentor Chicago

In 2018, the Opus Foundation® awarded $35,000 for iMentor Chicago's Post-Secondary Program (PSP) implementation. iMentor is a nonprofit that helps students graduate high school and navigate the challenges involved with post-secondary education, including enrolling, getting accepted and completing. The goal of PSP was to move more Chicago students toward greater college success and support students along the way. Highlights of the successful implementation include:

  • 67% of students enrolled in their post-secondary path of choice the fall after high school graduation
  • Served 412 students (an increase from their anticipated 289)
  • 80% of the mentees who entered the PSP remained active into their second year of college
  • 72% of students indicated their participation in the PSP helped them persist and succeed in college

In total, the Opus Foundation has awarded two grants to iMentor Chicago, totaling $73,000. (Read about the grant awarded in July 2019.) 

Johnson County Community Foundation – Aspire Johnson County

With a goal to support community revitalization, the Opus Foundation awarded a $40,000 grant to the Johnson County Community Foundation for their Johnson County Trails masterplanning program. (Read more about the grant.) The masterplanning is now complete, the county commission has formally adopted the plan and municipalities are working to raise funds to build the trails and necessary trail connections. 

Beyond successfully completing the masterplan, the process had additional beneficial results – the community has gathered and rallied around the process. Through four public meetings and a survey, the community feels added ownership for the project. Additionally, all eight municipalities in the county, the county government and local businesses banded together for the project. 

(Read coverage of the trail effort in the Indy Star.)

St. Louis County Library Foundation 

Supporting workforce development, the Opus Foundation awarded $28,550 to the St. Louis County Library Foundation for their Career Online High School (COHS). The COHS program is tackling the need for support to achieve high school diplomas in the county. Currently, an estimated 56,000 residents do not have a high school diploma. 

The Library Foundation had two objectives with this program and successful results for each.

  1. The Library Foundation wanted to facilitate a flexible opportunity for students to earn an accredited high school diploma. Results included:
    • 316 eligible individuals applied to join Career Online High School
    • 50 of those individuals enrolled in the program during the grant period
    • 24 students graduated from the program during the grant period

  2. While the Library Foundation wanted to prepare students to graduate and be ready to work, they also wanted to open the door for graduates to continue their education if desired. Results included:
    • 24 students gradated with a career certificate
    • four students have enrolled in school after receiving their high school diplomas. One student is working on a Certified Medication Technician license.
Read some past grant follow up highlights:

December 2017 Opus Foundation Grantee Follow Ups

December 2015 Opus Foundation Grantee Follow Ups

The Opus Foundation is building community for a better tomorrow by supporting projects and programs that make our communities better places to live, work and raise families through grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of early childhood education, youth development, workforce development, community revitalization and pressing/emerging needs. Read more about the Foundation's work