Vigo County Education Foundation and Ivy Tech Foundation have received a generous gift for a collaborative funding initiative to support educational advancement opportunities for Vigo County School Corporation students. Alpa Patel and Thomas Yeagley have provided a $10,000 gift, which through this initiative will help students to be prepared and have the opportunity for a seamless transition from high school to a post-secondary institution.

Jane Nichols, who serves as the executive director of the Vigo County Education Foundation, praised this partnership for its non-competitive nature.

“We live in a very giving community, and our organizations share many donors, like Alpa and Tom. This partnership allows those passionate about student success to support both organizations simultaneously,” said Nichols. “We are fortunate to have multiple post-secondary options for our students to consider. This partnership will help ensure students know their options and are prepared.”

Ivy Tech Community College currently offers free dual-credit courses in all the Vigo County high schools so students can earn college credits early. Dual-credit courses allow high school students the opportunity to earn a certificate or technical certificate and get a jump start on completing their associate degree at Ivy Tech or transfer their credits to a four-year institution. Ivy Tech has transfer agreements with many Indiana colleges, allowing students who earn their associate degree at Ivy Tech the option to transfer as a sophomore or junior to many Indiana colleges.

Patel and Yeagley aren’t new to education and community volunteer work. Patel has volunteered for many organizations and community programs that support high-quality education. In addition, she serves on the Campus Board of Trustees for Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute, the Ivy Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, and is currently the president of the Board of Directors for the Vigo County Education Foundation. Yeagley is also an active member of the community and serves on the School of Health Sciences advisory board for the diagnostic medical sonography program and as the medical director for the general health sciences concentration at Ivy Tech.

“Alpa and Tom’s desire to make a gift that supports both organizations inspired and expedited the partnership between Ivy Tech and the Vigo County Education Foundation,” said Rachel Mullinnix, executive director of the Ivy Tech Foundation. “Alpa’s long-term dedication to both organizations allowed her to see an opportunity that ultimately benefits college attainment for Vigo County students.”

“I am grateful to be part of the work that both of these organizations are doing, and my husband and I are honored to be able to provide additional support through this gift,” said Patel. “It’s important for all students to understand that attending college after high school is a realistic option, especially with Ivy Tech offering opportunities for our students to earn college credits before they graduate high school. With Giving Tuesday coming up on November 29, I invite others to support this partnership.”

Financial gifts made to this partnership can be accepted by either the Vigo County Education Foundation or Ivy Tech Foundation. Donations will be pooled each spring, and a committee comprised of members from both organizations and the Vigo County School Corporation will annually review and evaluate funding requests. Including the gift from Patel and Yeagley, more than $30,000 has been given in support of this partnership thus far.

To learn more or to support this initiative, contact Jane Nichols at the Vigo County Education Foundation ( or Rachel Mullinnix at the Ivy Tech Foundation (

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.