President Dave McFadden hopes the NxtGen grant will help Manchester improve the local community.
Photo provided by MU

NxtGen Grant to Improve North Manchester Community

Devon Allen

Manchester University received a NxtGen grant from Eli Lilly worth $1 million. Lilly is an organization that “provides grants and charitable contributions for healthcare professional education, patient advocacy and consumer education programs in a variety of therapeutic areas through the Lilly Grant Office,” according to its website.

The Lilly Grant Office focuses on a variety of areas, such as: autoimmune, neurodegeneration, endocrine, and neuroscience. Specifically, Eli Lilly and Company are committed to, as their website states, “improving patient care and providing valuable information to the medical and broader healthcare community.” They have given funds to plenty of different types of organizations, whether those funds are independent grants or charitable contributions that will increase healthcare provider knowledge.

Manchester can use this gracious grant in many ways to help students and families who are usually at a disadvantage. President David McFadden made this clear via a university press release. “The grant will enable us to fully develop NxtGen on Campus, which will bring high school students to our North Manchester campus for specialized academic visit days and weeklong summer residential camps at no or little cost to them,” he was quoted as saying.

This means that kids who are not always given a fair chance have a much better likelihood to thrive because of the opportunity presented by Manchester University from the grant. McFadden mentioned that while there are a lot of elements that still need to be planned, there is a goal to include people who are or were involved with Manchester University. That could range from current students, alumni, and faculty to people who are qualified to train in these situations. Manchester is even hiring a director specifically for the program.

This grant means a lot to Manchester University, but it means much more to the people that can benefit from it. Manchester has a great opportunity from this grant to make another positive impact in the North Manchester community. This opportunity is not just limited to North Manchester though. McFadden even mentioned in the press release that there would be a positive impact outside of the North Manchester community. Manchester would be partnering with many different people and programs, such as: Questa Education Foundation, Latinos Count, and Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Still not sold on the positives that this grant will have on the North Manchester and surrounding communities? There is plenty of other evidence of the benefits of generous grants from the Lilly Grant Office on other universities. Eastern Mennonite University was also awarded a similar grant in August of this year and used it to benefit their campus. They were able to develop a new leadership institute that focused on conflict transformation. While it does not seem that Manchester University will be using their grant in the same exact way, the benefits to reap from it are still relatable. Money can not buy happiness, but the donations may create an opportunity for more people to be able to experience it.