Twenty-four grant writing fellows form second cohort in professional development program

Program to support grant writers pursuing projects and programs that improve the quality of life for Uplands residents

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) has announced that twenty-four individuals have been selected for a second cohort of the Indiana Uplands Grant Writing Fellowship program.

ROI Grant Writing Fellows, 2022-2023

Thomas BaileyCity of LintonGreene
Ashlynne BenderCity of BedfordLawrence
Nicole DeCriscio-BoweThe Owen News ProjectOwen
Robyn EmbryMitchell High SchoolLawrence
Tammi GibsonWashington County Economic Growth PartnershipWashington
Kaylee GildersleeveCrawford County TourismCrawford
Jason GoodmanLost River Career CooperativeOrange
Kyle HannonFilibuster Press, LLCMonroe & Owen
Jennifer HarpSpringville Community AcademyLawrence
Eric KirkendallEastern Greene High SchoolGreene
Sherri KnieriemOwen County Family YMCAOwen
Jaimie MillerRichland-Bean Blossom Community School CorporationMonroe
Kelley MillerMSD of ShakamakGreene
Pamela PoeFriends of Marengo Big Springs Old Town ChurchCrawford
Lillian PursellOwen County Fair AssociationOwen
Kris SamickSpencer-Owen Community School CorporationOwen
Stacy SammMSD of ShakamakGreene
Carrie ShawDaviess Community HospitalDaviess
Andrea SmithHoosier Hills Career CenterMonroe
Dawn SullivanEastern Greene SchoolsGreene
Naomi TrojanShawswick Elementary SchoolLawrence
Anne West-BarrSt. Vincent de Paul Catholic SchoolLawrence
Kayla WilleyEastern Greene High SchoolGreene
Zoe ZollmanBoys & Girls Club of Lawrence CountyLawrence

Participants learn to effectively develop compelling grant applications in the year-long program by gathering data, developing budgets, and finding funding opportunities. Fellows also receive continuing professional development on a variety of related topics, connections to a network of peers, and information on available grants. Upon completing the program, fellows receive $1,000 stipends, plus up to $1,000 in matching dollars for successful grant applications fellows submit and win using their new skills.

The second cohort kicked off their fellowship year in September with a grant writing workshop facilitated by Purdue Extension.

ROI’s Grant Writing Fellowship was developed to help secure grant funding for projects and programs that can strengthen communities in the 11-county Uplands region. This past spring, ROI graduated its first cohort of 17 Grant Writing Fellows. For the inaugural cohort, ROI contributed $12,000 in grant matching funds to leverage $444,404 in grant funds. Fellows secured $1,334,904 in additional grant funding that did not require a match from ROI for a total of $1,779,308 invested in the Uplands region.

Fellows successfully secured grant funds to address a host of new opportunities including, but not limited to:

  • Increasing the capacity of three fabrication labs for the Collaboration of Shoals, Mitchell, and Orleans Schools (COSMOS)
  • Expanding early childhood education for White River Valley School District’s preschool program
  • Strengthening substance misuse and prevention programs in Greene County
  • Boosting STEM education in the Linton-Stockton School Corporation
  • Marketing for economic development growth and community prosperity in Lawrence County
  • Expanding broadband in Owen County
  • Supporting youth correctional programming in Martin County

“The first year of this new program exceeded our expectations,” said Lisa Abbott, ROI Vice President of Economic and Community Development. “Participants gained valuable grant writing skills, but more significantly, they made meaningful connections with local and state funders and secured grant funding that will impact the Uplands region for years to come. As we continue this program with another group of dedicated community, nonprofit, and school leaders, we are excited about the possibility of making an even more significant impact on our regional success.”

Read more about ROI’s Grant Writing Fellowship Program:

About Regional Opportunity Initiatives

Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance economic and community prosperity in the 11 counties of the Indiana Uplands (Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen, and Washington counties). ROI is growing potential and possibility through a focus on advanced industry sectors, regionalism, transformative school and workforce redesign, and placemaking strategies. To learn more about ROI’s programs, visit