The James Foundation Pledges Multiyear Gift | Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana

Fort Wayne, Ind. — The James Foundation has pledged a significant multiyear gift to Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana to support initiatives that help people with disabilities build skills and increase their independence.

“We are proud to consider The James Foundation a partner in building inclusive communities,” said Donna K. Elbrecht, CEO of Easterseals Arc. “The generosity of this gift is awe-inspiring, not just for the dollars, but also because it demonstrates the Foundation’s willingness to support new ideas and express their faith in us through multiyear funding.”

The gift will provide financial support for several programs:

  • Esports: Beginning at Easterseals RISE in Angola then expanding to other locations, Easterseals Arc will have a competitive esports team and esports clubs as part of the nationwide ES Gaming initiative launched in December 2022. Creating and supporting esports teams and events will provide opportunities for players to connect and improve skills in leadership, communication, critical thinking, team building, cognitive acuity, and technology. The James Foundation gift will help fund equipment purchases, a full-time esports coach, and streaming events.
  • Virtual reality job training: Virtual reality technology creates classroom-to-career pathways for the next generation of workers by teaching critical skills for in-demand jobs via hands-on, simulated training. The James Foundation gift will enable Easterseals Arc to purchase licenses and equipment for people with disabilities to explore and train for potential jobs.
  • Pre-manufacturing classes: Easterseals RISE will partner with Trine University to offer pre-manufacturing classes for people with disabilities. Students in Trine’s special education program will lead classes designed to prepare students to work successfully in the manufacturing industry. The James Foundation grant will help cover program expenses for seven to 10 students per year.
  • Operating support: The James Foundation gift also will help offset operating expenses for ongoing workforce development initiatives at Easterseals RISE.