Recognizing STEM educators, organizations, coaches, programs and platforms that inspire and open doors for learners of any ages

Great educational support is crucial when cultivating a thriving tech hub and future talent. It’s imperative to provide the next generation with the resources they need to be successful, especially access to foundational STEM education. 

The Education Impact of the Year award recognizes STEM educators, organizations, coaches, programs and platforms that inspire and open doors for learners of any ages, create economic opportunities and have an undeniably positive impact on student achievement and the future workforce. 

Our nominees are taking great measures to train the next generation of tech talent, helping facilitate tech advancement and exploration. If there is someone who wants to learn, our nominees have proven that there is a way to connect. 

One nominee created a modern youth apprenticeship program that starts in high school, combining paid employment, on-the-job learning, related academics, aligned college credit and industry-recognized credentials. Another created a platform that is to help deserving but underserved youth develop the social and emotional qualities needed to be successful as future programmers. Another nominee developed a unique solution that concurrently solves two pressing tech workforce challenges, including diversifying the IT workforce and helping address the massive IT talent gap that exists in Indiana and across the US. These nominees are serious about the future of tech talent in Indiana. 

This year’s nominees include:

  • Ascend Indiana / Modern Apprenticeship, Indianapolis, Ind. — Ascend Indiana is the talent and workforce development initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and is committed to making Indiana a place of economic opportunity for all.
  • Ball State Digital Corps, Muncie, Ind. — The Digital Corps provides superior training and great experiences within a student’s chosen craft to help prepare for a career, along with workshops focused on professional preparedness.
  • Fight For Life Foundation, Fishers, Ind. — The mission of Fight for Life Foundation (FFLF) is to help deserving but underserved youth develop the social and emotional qualities needed to be successful.
  • FIRST Indiana Robotics, Fishers, Ind. — FIRST Indiana Robotics is a STEM-based mentoring program and robotics community that prepares young people for the tech workforce.
  • Five Star Technology Solutions, Jeffersonville, Ind. — Five Star Technology Solutions are K-12 education experts in managed services, data analytics, and professional development.
  • Franklin College, Franklin, Ind. — Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential liberal arts and sciences institution located 20 minutes south of Indianapolis.
  • JobWorks Education & Training Systems, Fort Wayne, Ind. — JobWorks Education & Training creates life-changing opportunities for diverse talent to access IT careers, while addressing the critical tech skills shortage for employers across Indiana.
  • Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, Indianapolis, Ind. — JACI creates immersive learning environments for students to apply academic concepts in a real-world setting to enhance the retention of concepts learned and develop skills for success.
  • Orr Fellowship, Zionsville, Ind. — The Orr Fellowship is a post-graduate program designed for doers who want to jumpstart their career in entrepreneurship and business leadership alongside a community of like-minded young professionals.
  • Rupal Thanawala, CEO, Trident Systems, Fishers, Ind. – Rupal Thanawala is the President/CEO of Trident Systems and has a deep passion for the community. She is a leading global business strategy and digital transformation consulting firm.
  • Sarah Ackerman, Business & Innovations Teacher, Speedway Schools, Speedway, Ind. — While the concept of an entrepreneurship class is not new, the way Sarah teaches it to students is innovative and offers them more of a chance to connect with the material in a real-world application.
  • Tactile Engineering, Lafayette, Ind. — Tactile Engineering is enabling blind students to access electronic graphics, animated images, STEM content, and interactive drawing tools using the portable and modular Cadence tablet.

The 2023 Mira Award winners will be announced during our in-person gala at the JW Marriott during the 24th gala on Saturday, April 22, with presenting sponsors Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Salesforce and UKG.

Get more information about the 2023 Mira Awards and join us on April 22 for the unveiling of the “Best of Tech” Mira Award winner for Education Impact Award!