Holy Cross Hosts Local Camp to Combat 'Brain Drain'

Author: Katherine Ziola

This story appeared in the South Bend Tribune on Sunday, June 22.

Holy Cross College is hosting the Innovative Thinkers camp until Friday. This day camp nurtures the economic pipeline by equipping middle school youth with the tools necessary to consider a STEM education or career path.

This camp was created as an initiative to stop the Indiana loss of educated youth as more young people move out of state, described as a “brain drain.”

In addition to helping area students explore their potential, the camp also seeks to cultivate a culture of innovationand entrepreneurship in the Michiana region. This experience is designed for students to participate over three consecutive summers:

  • Year one, rising seventh- graders will focus on learning about entrepreneurship and the skills necessary for individual success.


  • Year two, rising eighth-graders will focus on project-based learning and will develop the competencies needed to be an effective member of a team.
  • Year three, as rising ninth-graders, students will polish the skills acquired in the previous two summers with a capstone project that incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and sustainability.

This year, the co-ed camp with about 20 students and counselors altogether, will finish out the first Cohort 3 (the ninth-graders) group to complete all three years.

Other partners with the camp include: the 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend, LaCasa deAmistad, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the Robinson Community Learning Center, Ivy Tech Community College, and the University of Notre Dame. Holy Cross College is hosting this camp in order to aid the community in stemming brain drain as well to help equip students with a better future in the holistic sense that is characteristic of Holy Cross and is the mission of the Innovative Thinkers camp.

Katherine Ziola is the assistant director of marketing, communications and public relations at Holy Cross College.