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Alumni Spotlight–Five Questions with IPS Alums: Corey Parchman Discusses How IPS Made a Difference in His Life

Corey Parchman

Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is proud of our graduates and their diverse, inspiring journeys. We have created the IPS Alumni Spotlight to celebrate our former students and showcase their experiences, accomplishments, and personal interests. Every graduate has a unique path, and we can all learn from their journeys.

IPS recently asked Corey Parchman, a 1997 graduate of Emmerich Manual High School, about his journey that began in the state’s largest district. 

Parchman is a former NFL wide receiver and current business owner and philanthropist. Born and raised in Indianapolis. He graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. 

During his NFL career and after he retired, Parchman has been actively involved in the education field, working with youth in various capacities. While he has spent years as a successful business owner and entrepreneur,  Parchman has never lost his passion for working with children. 

Q–How did your experiences at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) shape your educational foundation and career aspirations?

A–Indianapolis Public Schools(IPS) provided me with a structured learning environment that equipped me with essential knowledge and skills. IPS exposed me to a diverse range of subjects and extracurricular activities, which helped me discover my interests and passions. Interactions with peers and teachers influenced my social and communication skills. These formative experiences inspired my career aspirations, in Education and Entrepreneurship. IPS played a vital role in laying the groundwork for my academic and career journey.

Q–Can you share memorable moments or teachers who had a significant impact on your time at IPS?

A–Among my numerous experiences at IPS, one particularly poignant memory remains etched in my mind. It was 1989, and I was a fifth-grader at Anna Brochouse School 88 when tragedy struck – my father passed away unexpectedly. Amid this turbulent time, the unwavering support I received from the teachers and staff was truly remarkable. My world was turned upside down, but these educators embraced me with open arms and provided a sense of reassurance. They made it abundantly clear that I would be okay and that I could lean on them whenever I needed support.

Q–How has your education at IPS influenced your personal and professional development since graduating?

A–My education had a profound and lasting impact on my personal and professional development after graduation. The foundational knowledge and skills acquired at IPS served as a springboard for further learning and growth. IPS exposed me to a diverse perspective, fostering a broad understanding of the world and the ability to work with people from various backgrounds. This inclusivity and social interaction shaped my interpersonal and communication skills, which were invaluable in a professional context. Overall, the education received significantly contributed to my lifelong learning journey, career choices, and personal development beyond graduation.

Q–What specific skills or knowledge gained at IPS have proven most valuable in your current life or career?

A–The specific skills and knowledge gained during my time at IPS have had a lasting impact on my current life and career. Notably, the foundational skills in subjects like mathematics, language arts, and critical thinking have been invaluable in problem-solving and decision-making. Furthermore, the exposure to a diverse student body has enhanced my ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds, a skill highly relevant in today’s globalized and diverse workplaces. IPS also instilled a strong work ethic and a thirst for continuous learning, both of which have been key factors in my personal and professional development, enabling me to adapt and thrive in an ever-evolving world.

Q–In what ways have you stayed connected with the IPS community, and what advice would you offer current IPS students for a successful future?

A–I’ve maintained a strong connection with IPS over the years, with a primary focus on my high school, Emmerich Manual. One of my most recent and memorable contributions was delivering the commencement speech for the last graduating class of Manual High School. I’ve also had the honor of serving as a keynote speaker at numerous IPS events. Beyond that, I’ve given back to the community by volunteering as a football coach at both Manual High School and Emma Donna Middle School. Additionally, I played a pivotal role in the initiation of the first IPS Charter school innovation, collaborating with Phalen Leadership Academy and School 103 to help launch this exciting new partnership.