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Prairie Meadows Awards Grant for Career & College Readiness

April 1, 2015

Grant Focuses on Freshman Transition into High School as Starting Point for Future Planning

ANKENY, IOWA (April 1, 2015) — The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) was awarded a Community Betterment Grant from Prairie Meadows at an awards luncheon held in March at the Prairie Meadows Casino. The grant supports college and career readiness programming for freshmen as they transition into high school.

“Prairie Meadows is proud to support the Iowa College Access Network,” said Prairie Meadows President/CEO Gary Palmer, “by awarding $5,000 through the Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant Program.

The Freshman Transitions Project will help provide incoming freshmen with career and college planning as it pertains to high school four-year plans and life after high school. The program will coordinate with the school counseling offices in high schools in the Greater  Des Moines Area, ensuring that incoming freshman students and parents understand the importance of each year of high school as it fits into an overall career and college plan. With services provided through ICAN, the Project will serve approximately 300,000 individuals including: students, parents, and educators through a partnership with the counseling offices of Iowa’s high schools.

“ICAN programs are unique in the respect that ICAN experts travel to each community, providing face-to-face presentations and one-on-one advice to students and parents in the communities in which they reside,” explained Erick Danielson, ICAN supervisor and student success advisor in the Ankeny ICAN office. “The Prairie Meadows Grant enables that interaction to happen without requiring families to travel into Ankeny for professional advice. For some families traveling for assistance isn’t possible and the Prairie Meadows 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 College Access Resource Project 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 ever-changing 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.

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About ICAN
The Iowa College Access Network is a nonprofit, educational organization. ICAN is the College Access Network for Iowa, and a member of the National College Access Network (NCAN). ICAN has eight locations in Ankeny, Cedar Rapids/Hiawatha, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Orange City, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo, which provide information and support to students and their families as they plan their postsecondary education and apply for financial aid. All ICAN programs and services are provided without charge. For more information about ICAN, call (877) 272-4692 or visit

About Prairie Meadows
Prairie Meadows has given more than $1 billion through taxes, grants and charitable donations to the state of Iowa. More than $500 million of that figure has remained in our community to promote economic development, agriculture, jobs, and tourism.

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