Gallery: Trolley tour highlights Vincent Village initiatives
Jun28

Gallery: Trolley tour highlights Vincent Village initiatives

A few members of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana joined Vincent Village‘s neighborhood trolley tour on Thursday night. This tour highlighted Vincent Village projects and initiatives and gave an overview of additional investments in the Oxford Community and Renaissance Pointe neighborhoods in Fort Wayne. According to its mission, Vincent Village Inc. serves homeless families with children. It is the only transitional shelter in Allen County serving two-parent families and single-male headed families. Tour participants enter the Vincent House Transitional Center, which provides shelter and supportive services for homeless families with children. Denise Andorfer, the executive director of Vincent Village, gives an overview of neighborhood projects and initiatives in and around Vincent Village. Vinnie’s Empowerment Store where clients can acquire clothing and other goods to help them during their transitions. Children’s art dries on the rack after an early evening painting activity for kids at the transitional shelter. Tour participants also visited the former fire station number 9. This community asset outside of Vincent Village was renovated into the Johnnie Mae Farm. Inside of the renovated former fire station at the Johnnie Mae Farm. City residents can participate in healthy cooking class in Our HEALing Kitchen, which is sponsored by the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Parkview Health. The Johnnie Mae Farm is a partnership between the City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services and the Purdue Extension – Allen County Office. For more information on Vincent Village, visit their website at vincentvillage.org. For more information on the Johnnie Mae Farm, visit...

Read More
Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities
Oct25

Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities

Local food and green collar industries have seen renewed interest in recent years. Living Fort Wayne recently caught up with Heartland Communities’ Jain Young and Rowan Greene to discuss the mission of Heartland Communities and their vision for the future. LFW – How does Heartland Communities plan to help facilitate the emergence of “green collar industries”? Heartland Communities – We hear about a “triple bottom line” these days – people – planet – profit or the 3 p’s of sustainability. At Heartland Communities, we have held those values as our mission since before the phrase was coined and we called it economic, environmental and cultural sustainability. As a community economic development organization, we are focused on creating opportunities to put those values into action in business, jobs, and entrepreneurship. To take it a step further, Heartland is organized to help create cooperative and worker-owned enterprises. Heartland’s current focus is bringing green infrastructure to the food industry with Plowshares Local Food System Project, which began in 2014 with a USDA grant through the Local Food Promotion Program for research and planning. Plowshares works with intention and organizing to re-establish local food system infrastructure, which changed over the last 50+ years from local to global. Now, four years into the project, we are launching a local food distribution business called Plowshares Food Hub. It will create efficiencies for local farms and business while making locally grown and processed food more accessible. The Sustainable Indiana 2016 initiative gave Heartland a “Green Light Award” for Plowshares. As we create a local food system, food production is a green collar industry when farmers use regenerative methods that require less water and fuel, build our soil, and protect pollinators. As food moves from farms through the value chain to the consumer, food jobs become “green” when the transportation miles are reduced, so locally produced food is more green than the same food that rides in a truck from California or Brazil. In Indiana, the average meal travels 1,500 miles while we import 90 percent of our food from out of state. So you might think of a green collar industry as a solar panel manufacturing plant but sometimes it is doing the things we have always done but finding a way to be good to the planet and value your people with good jobs, while being successful financially. Another Green Light Award was given to an organization Heartland incubated as fiscal agent and through organizational development over a period of seven years. The nonprofit Save Maumee Grassroots Organization has become a green collar industry in watershed management and jobs have been created with nearly $200,000...

Read More
Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women
Aug28

Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women

It’s difficult to be a young woman in modern society. Today’s generation is inundated with mixed messages from the media, along with a lack of community engagement, peer conflict, family problems and other issues that can leave girls feeling alienated and inadequate. Bring It Push It Own It, a local female-run nonprofit organization for girls from ages 9-18, seeks to overcome these negative influences by empowering young women through physical activity, mentorship and teamwork. Bring It Push It Own It began in 2013 when founder Tisha Stotlar noticed a lack of self-esteem, positive values, inner strength, coping skills and leadership traits being instilled in young women within their home, school and extracurricular lives. Stotlar started the organization with the important goal of helping girls learn to “push themselves outside of their comfort zones to grow to their fullest potential.” Today, Bring It Push It Own It is run by a full board and advisory committee of predominantly women, offering group fitness and enrichment programming for girls in the Fort Wayne area. “We create an environment that is different than sports yet active—an environment to become a leader as a mentor to other girls, an opportunity to learn how to have friendships outside of your normal circles. Taking you out of your comfort zones is the best way to heighten ourselves and become our best selves, and we provide that in our program and our obstacle run,” Stotlar said. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Donate With Link In Bio (@bringit_pushit_ownit) Bring It Push It Own It offers 10 to 12 week seasonal rotations consisting of weekly meet-ups and additional monthly meet-ups for its young members. Typically meeting at Spiece Fitness, sessions rotate a variety of a group exercise classes including yoga, barre, step aerobics, martial arts and more. Additionally, meetings include an educational discussion on pertinent topics such as identifying toxic relationships and embracing your natural beauty. Girls will also participate in an obstacle course that takes their teamwork, courage and leadership skills to new heights. The variety and challenge offered by Bring It Push It Own It allows its participants to constantly try new things and achieve their goals along the way. As the leader of Bring It Push It Own It, Stotlar is especially interested in addressing the confidence issues that arise around ages 11-14 as young women enter adolescence and transition from elementary to middle school. Noting the often lackluster messages targeted at girls in today’s society, Stotlar feels that, “we really don’t focus on self love and value, inner strength, staying true to yourself, toxic relationships and unique leadership traits in the...

Read More
Emerging Leaders Alliance expanding their membership
May08

Emerging Leaders Alliance expanding their membership

What is the Emerging Leaders Alliance (ELA)? The ELA is a small group of emerging leaders making a big regional impact. With the mission to create opportunities for action, growth and regional pride, the ELA is full of visionary and proactive young professionals working together to advance northeast Indiana. What are the benefits of being a member? Have a voice – Established leaders recognize the unique perspective and input of young professionals as critical to the development of the region. The ELA serves as an advisory council to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and has two votes on the Regional Opportunities Council. Vision 2030 involvement – Spearheaded by the Regional Partnership, Vision 2030 works to accomplish three regional goals by the year 2030:  Increase PCPI annually against the national average Increase the population to 1 million residents Increase post-secondary educational attainment to more than 60%      To move the needle on these goals, three committees were formed to focus and take action on business attraction, talent attraction and talent development initiatives. ELA members have the opportunity to serve on these committees alongside influential business and community leaders. Professional development – Primary focuses of the the group include personal and professional growth. The ELA understands building up the region also means building themselves up as leaders. For this reason, books clubs, Gallup strengths training and networking events are all on the agenda. How can you get involved? The ELA is currently accepting applications for diverse, eager and engaged young individuals. If you or someone you know would enjoy being a part of this vibrant and forward thinking group, check out the ELA webpage and send in your application. To keep updated on the ELA’s involvement, follow them on the facebook and...

Read More
AIDS Walk 2018 – Be a Hero!
Apr06

AIDS Walk 2018 – Be a Hero!

Why Walk? Saturday, May 5th marks the 22nd year of the Northeast Indiana AIDS Walk and is one of the Positive Resource Connection‘s biggest fundraisers each year bringing in over $40,000 annually to support their non-profit business. The mission of the Northeast Indiana Positive Resource Connection is to prevent new cases of HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis, and STDs and advance a compassionate and stigma-free community response. The organization reaches over 10,000 individuals every year through a variety of programs including free HIV and Hepatitis testing; HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and STD education; and linkage to care. Clients of Positive Resource Connection receive HIV/AIDS support consisting of access to doctors, labs, and medications, encompassing complete wrap-around services to keep people and communities as healthy as possible! Calling All Superheroes! Put on your walking shoes and join the Positive Resource Connection at Parkview Field for our registration party followed by a quick walk around downtown Fort Wayne. The route is just over one mile – enough to get the heart pumping, but doesn’t leave you spent the rest of the day. Registration Party The fun starts before the walk with the registration party. Sign-in begins at 10am and guests arriving early can enjoy a variety of fun activities including… Affine Food Truck – breakfast available! Johnny TinCap from 10-11am AIDS Walk 2018 t-shirts for the first 200 participants Onsite superheroes from Summit City Cause-Players Professional caricaturist Balloon artists Costume contest for the best-dressed superheroes (kids and adults) 50/50 cash raffle – raffle tickets on sale now for a chance to win the grand prize of up to $1,000! Proclamation by Mayor Henry More prizes and giveaways The Details When: Saturday, May 5th; 10am-12pm Where: Parkview Field, 1301 Ewing St., Fort Wayne – Main Entrance Who: Everyone is welcome! (Per Parkview’s policy, please leave your pets at home.) RSVP on Facebook to stay up to date on all the details. Register now as an individual or team to start gathering donations from your friends, family and co-workers and receive your official AIDS Walk 2018 packet. Have questions? Call the Positive Resource Connection, (260) 744-1144, or send us an email,...

Read More
The Harry Potter Magic Returns to Fort Wayne
Jan16

The Harry Potter Magic Returns to Fort Wayne

The magic returns this coming weekend, courtesy of the Salvation Army. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, this is the perfect event for you to attend. Unlike last year’s Yule Ball, this year they are delving into the world of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, so break out your 20s clothing and your wands and get ready to party like you got accepted to Ilvermorny. Not only is the event fit for muggles and wizards alike, 100 percent of proceeds benefiting families in need through The Salvation Army. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Victoria Sarjeant (@sarjve01) The event will be held at The Orchid, so the look and feeling will be a little different than last year. If you are looking for just a small dabble into the wizarding arts, you can choose the Diagon Alley Basic Entrance. which includes the following: potions a class with Professor Snape the TriWizard Tournament Challenge from Escape Fort Wayne detention with Professor Umbridge herbology class from Country Farm & Garden history of magic class care of magical creatures Borgin and Burkes Vanishing Cabinet defense of the dark arts with All Star Martial Arts charms class with Amanda Kessens from Young Living a sorting hat experience boarding room assignments from Ivy Tech Community College Dance Lessons with the Beauxbatons by Fort Wayne Dance Collective Goblet of Fire Entry character interactions a first year wizards room (children’s area) moving hall photo ops a commemorative Marauder’s map and costume/trivia contests. You can get a Platform Ticket which includes a personalized Owl Mail Acceptance Letter and themed dining experience (“Weasley Style” and “Mandrake” (Vegetarian).  The last option is the 1920’s Fantastic Beasts Ball. You can experience dinner, Ilvermorny house sorting and badge ceremony, music, dancing, The Blind Pig lounge singers, character interaction (including the Second Salemers), complimentary photos, silent auction, carriage rides (weather permitting), event keepsake, and of course, specialty dessert from Kowalski’s Bakery.   What you need to know Dress is strictly 1920’s formal nomaj The event will be held at The Orchid, 11508 Lincoln Hwy East New Haven, IN 46774. Tickets can be purchased here Event is sponsored by Escape Fort Wayne and The Orchid To donate to the silent auction, you can click here or drop off monetary donations to The Salvation Army at 2901 N. Clinton...

Read More