Why We Do It

What we believe:

High-achieving young women from the Midwest will be active and valuable contributors to the educational environments at our nation's most rigorous and selective colleges. These young women bring unique perspectives to college campuses and to positions of leadership beyond college, but many of these students lack the information, encouragement, and resources to get there. They are uncertain about what studying far from home will be like. They aren't sure it will be financially feasible, but they are curious, talented, and motivated.

We know that they can thrive on college campuses across the country. They will have an impact and give back to their home communities. We also know that studying at a highly selective college can be more affordable than many students and families think.

How do you give talented young women the chance to grow their confidence and raise their college aspirations?

This is the question our founders were pondering. Our founders are a group of Midwest natives who ventured to various parts of the country for college and quickly recognized the powerful effect of studying outside of their comfort zones, on campuses that are home to diverse communities and offer students many resources. When they came back to the Midwest, excited to share their experiences, they discovered that many local students, and educators, were not aware of the opportunities available to them at highly selective colleges. What could they do about this?

The answer our founders came up with:

Provide talented young women in high school with the opportunity to participate in summer academic programs on selective college campuses outside of the Midwest. Through these programs, high school students live on a college campus — with other students from all across the country, and around the world — and take classes from college professors.

Summer Scholars tell us the experience is transformative. Our research shows that participation in a summer academic programs influences our Summer Scholars' aspirations, college application lists, and matriculation decisions.

The Story of Joyce

The Foundation is named for Joyce, a woman from Michigan who showed enormous potential but whose life was cut short by cancer. The Joyce Ivy Foundation supports the aspirations of other high potential young women so that they may fulfill their potential and shape their own paths to college and lives of leadership and impact.