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ICAN Awarded Grant for College Access Initiative

November 2, 2012

 ICAN Awarded Grant for College Access Initiative 

Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation Supports Career and College Readiness in 
Clayton County 
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (October 23, 2012) — The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) is 
pleased to announce it has received a grant from the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation 
(UMGC) to support college and career readiness programming as part of its Clayton County 
College Access Initiative. 
“ICAN is a wonderful resource for schools in Clayton County. Central high school students 
and parents rely on ICAN for up-to-date information for college topics from "High School 
Success" for 9th graders to "College Planning" for sophomores and the all-important 
"Paying for College" FAFSA information for juniors/seniors!” said Jane Metcalf, counselor at 
Central Elkader High School in Elkader. “It is not just the fact that all of these presentations 
are absolutely free to the school, but each program comes with resources that complement 
the information shared. ICAN help is only a click away on the internet or a quick 800 
number phone call. It is exciting to have the support of the Upper Mississippi Gaming 
Corporation for this invaluable support for students and families." 
Entering its second year, the Clayton County College Access Initiative brings college 
planning and financial aid information and resources into the Clayton County communities to 
inform middle- and high-school students and parents of the steps required to achieve their 
educational goals. With services provided through ICAN, the Initiative will serve 
approximately 7,500 individuals including: students, parents, and educators through a Page 2 of 3 
partnership with the five school districts in Clayton County including Clayton Ridge, Central 
Elkader, Postville, MFL MarMac and Edgewood-Colesburg. 
“ICAN programs are unique in the respect that they are brought into individual communities 
and provide face-to-face presentations and one-on-one advice to students in the 
communities in which they reside,” explained Lupe Hernandez, ICAN site coordinator. “This 
grant enables that interaction to happen without requiring families to travel several hours for 
professional advice. For some families traveling for assistance isn’t possible and the UMGC 
grant allows ICAN to continue serving these families where they live.” 
In an effort to empower students with the understanding that higher education is accessible 
to everyone, the Clayton County Initiative is part of a wider effort by ICAN to reach every 
middle- and high school student in Iowa to better prepare students for college and the 
workforce. According to Complete College America, more than 60 percent of Iowa jobs will 
require a college education by 2020. 
“Education and training beyond high school is a necessity for long-term success in the everchanging job market,” explained Rob Miller, ICAN executive director. “This grant enables 
ICAN to continue meeting the needs of Iowa students.” 
ICAN, a nonprofit organization providing career and college readiness planning to students 
and parents in Iowa, has been educating and empowering Iowa’s future workforce since 
1998. About Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation Page 3 of 3 
Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation is a non-profit charitable organization 
dedicated to the enrichment of Clayton County, Iowa through the dispersion of funds 
acquired from a boarding tax paid by the Lady Luck Casino, Marquette. It is the 
groups’ mission to award these funds to projects that encourage economic 
development, community betterment, improved cultural and recreational activities 
facilities, programs or activities that foster enhanced educational experiences for our 
youth, or improve the overall quality of life for residents of this county. For more 
information about UMGC, call (563) 873-2102 or visit www.umgcgrants.org.

 

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