What part of town do you live in? What do you like about it?
I live in the Cultural District near Mass. Ave. I love the diversity it offers from the people to the restaurants to the theater and night life. I’m big into buying local and Mass. Ave makes it really easy. I think if I fell into a small fortune, I’d buy a house in Lockerbie but for now I’ll gladly walk a few blocks to enjoy the scene.
Where do you like to spend time outdoors?
I love running the canal and biking the Monon. Broad Ripple is a nice day trip. Indy has done a great job over the years expanding the bike lanes and bike culture in general. The Mass. Ave. Criterium, Indy Criterium and all the running races have really broadened the physical activities around the city.
What places in Indianapolis inspire you?
Seeing what the Near Eastside did around the Super Bowl in the Legacy Center and the beautification efforts and hearing about the grand plans on the Near Westside – it inspires me to see so many people invested in their neighborhoods. Coming from Detroit where the suburbs have taken much of the life from downtown, Indianapolis is quite the opposite. From Irvington to Fountain Square to Broad Ripple, and the up and coming Near Westside, Indy is a big little city with a very local culture.
Why do you support KIB?
It didn’t take long after I moved here to notice the presence KIB has in Indianapolis. Seeing their signs around town I thought, this organization cares about the community. The mission of an organization and how well their practices match it is very important to me. KIB using an army of neighborhood volunteers to beautiful the city using environmentally-friendly practices. What’s not to love?!
I’d like to tell all the Hoosiers reading this that they should be extremely proud of their city. In the past 5yrs I’ve met a ton of amazing people who take great pride in their neighborhoods. The fact that organizations like KIB thrive and are very much apart of the solution speaks highly to the character of the citizens. Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, I never had a mindset of local. Local engagement. Local businesses. I grew up around malls and chain stores. All the wonderful neighborhoods and organizations have been a breath of fresh air and I may just stay a bit longer than I planned.
If were describing KIB to a friend, what three words would you use?
Green. Community. Engagement.
What else are you involved in within the community?
I oversee Community Services for the Indianapolis Re-Entry Educational Facility. I work with volunteers who come into the facility to facilitate a successful re-entry for our residents so they can be productive, law-abiding citizens. I also take out crews of residents who volunteer their time to serve their neighbors. Last year we provided over 3,000hrs of volunteer service to the community which is unprecedented for a correctional facility. I have the opportunity to work with some amazing individuals.
I also work at the Indianapolis Humane Society as part of the Community Outreach Team for our new Animal Welfare Clinic on the Near Westside. My position allows me to get out in the community to help owners keep their furry friends. Whether they need assistance feeding them, vaccinating them, or correcting behavioral issues – I help connect them to the numerous low-cost resources available to themzwe.
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
I’m humbled by this spotlight and want to give due credit to the residents at the Indianapolis Re-Entry Educational Facility. They make supporting KIB with hundreds of volunteer hours really easy. All the feedback I hear is how respectful and professional they carry themselves in the community. I want to instill in them volunteerism and community engagement. I want them to believe they can make a difference. The news and popular opinion is to ostracize them and hope they don’t become their neighbors. They WILL become our neighbors and the more we invest in their success, the better off for all of us.
Indiana Department of Correction, Indianapolis Re-Entry Educational Facility, Community Liaison & Animal Welfare Center, Community Outreach Team