Joyce Ivy Foundation Announces Expansion into Indiana with Generous Donation from MacArthur Fellow and 2023 Leader of the Year, Jennifer Carlson, Ph.D.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Joyce Ivy Foundation, a leading non-profit dedicated to supporting high-achieving, high school-aged women in the Midwest, proudly announces its expansion into Indiana. This significant development has been made possible through a generous endowment from 2022 MacArthur Fellow, Jennifer Carlson, Ph.D., a globally acknowledged gun culture expert, professor at Arizona State and author. With this move, Indiana becomes the eighth state under the Joyce Ivy umbrella, joining the ranks of Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Through the foundation’s flagship initiative – the Summer Scholars program – exceptional young women are offered scholarships each year to participate in pre-college summer programs at prestigious partner institutions including: Barnard College, Brown University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, MIT, Smith College, Spelman College and Yale University. More than 1,100 students have received scholarships since Joyce Ivy’s founding. Of those students approximately 30% are first generation college students and 70% identify as women of color. The majority of students describe their families as economically challenged.

The Indiana scholarship, aptly named The Steve Carlson Perseverance Scholar in honor of Carlson’s late father, aims to support an exemplary college-bound female high schooler. The inaugural award, set for summer 2024, will benefit a deserving student from Indiana Academy, Carlson’s alma mater. The foundation’s vision is to expand scholarship offerings in the state, aiming to support up to 20 students annually from high schools across Indiana.

“Through the Summer Scholars program, the Joyce Ivy Foundation empowers young women with perhaps the most significant gift – the liberty to dream big. I feel privileged to be associated with a foundation that inspires young women to envision their impact on the world and equips them to chase those dreams,” said Jennifer Carlson.

Brittany Knight, executive director of Joyce Ivy Foundation and sister to Carlson, shared her excitement, “This endowment not only allows us to set foot in Indiana but assures perpetual support for at least one scholar in the state. We are keen on showcasing our year-on-year impact to the beautiful people of Indiana, expanding our reach and amplifying our profile. The tribute to my father, Steve Carlson, a staunch believer in education as the door to countless opportunities, embodies the essence of perseverance and hard work. Our mission aligns seamlessly with the core values Steve Carlson cherished.”

With a stellar track record since its inception in 2006, the Joyce Ivy Foundation boasts impressive stats with an 100% college matriculation and 81% admitted to their first or second choice college or university. Their mission revolves around amplifying the Midwestern female voice in top-tier colleges, bridging the gap between potential and opportunity.

The foundation’s core belief that talent is evenly spread across society resonates with its commitment to celebrate the Midwestern perspective. By continuously championing the transformative power of educational experiences and advocating for young women as leaders, the Joyce Ivy Foundation leaves an indelible mark on the future.

About The Joyce Ivy Foundation

The Joyce Ivy Foundation seeks to provide exposure, encouragement and financial assistance to young women who have the academic, intellectual and leadership potential to attend the nation’s most selective institutions of higher education. Funding for the Joyce Ivy Foundation is provided by individuals, other foundations and corporations. Since its founding in 2006, the foundation has named 1,136 students from Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota as Joyce Ivy Scholars, providing scholarships for them to attend summer educational programs at partner college summer programs and providing or leveraging $6.2 million in scholarship funding. For more information visit: or call 734-661-0229.