LFW Member Spotlight – Victoria Sarjeant
Jul06

LFW Member Spotlight – Victoria Sarjeant

Have you ever wondered who the people behind Living Fort Wayne are? Or maybe you’re curious about the different things our team does every day that make Living Fort Wayne the go-to destination for all the great things happening in our city. In this new spotlight series, we’ll be featuring a few of our amazing volunteers who will share a bit about their contributions to Living Fort Wayne and what they do outside of their volunteer work with us. Today we are spotlighting Living Fort Wayne’s Chair, Victoria Sarjeant! What is your role with Living Fort Wayne and why did you decide to volunteer for our blog? My role with Living Fort Wayne is Chair. I decided to volunteer because I was already a blogger and I thought it would easily fit into my current personal activities. I also wanted to get involved with YLNI for a while and this seemed like the perfect area to get my start. I started as a writer in July of 2017 and became Vice Chair in November of 2017. I became Chair in early June 2018. Tell us one thing about your life outside of Living Fort Wayne  I love to stay busy volunteering, blogging, or making crafts. I am active with the Emerging Leaders Alliance and Big Brothers Big Sisters. If I am not working with any of those things, I am probably watching Netflix with my cats, Jacob and Amber. If you could live any other place in the world, besides Fort Wayne, where would you live and why? If it was a different country, I would have to say Norway. That fits since most of my heritage is in the Scandinavian countries. If I went to any other city in the US, it would have to be Boston or Seattle. I am obsessed with Revolutionary War era history and Boston is full of it. I love Seattle because I love the scenery around the city and the atmosphere. I also love Maine! If you had a friend coming in from out of town, what is the one can’t miss thing you would show them or do with them in Fort Wayne? I would most likely take a visitor out to eat at a local restaurant or bar. Normally I take people to Wine Down, Hoppy Gnome, or JK O’Donnell’s. People don’t come somewhere and expect to go to a chain. I think those are all great examples of the unique places we have to offer. I also have friends that come just to go to DeBrand Fine Chocolate. Growing up in central Indiana, we didn’t really have a place like that...

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Big Brothers Big Sisters: The First Meeting
Mar10

Big Brothers Big Sisters: The First Meeting

A few months after I initially inquired about Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) at the health fair at Franklin Electric, I found myself walking into an elementary school to meet my Little for the first time. And, as I stated in the previous installment of my BBBS series, I was quite nervous about it. Thankfully, our match support specialist was there to facilitate the first meeting and make us feel a bit more comfortable. First, we went over some paperwork and general guidelines, then we did some icebreaker activities that I initially thought would be awkward but turned out to be pretty helpful for Samantha and I as we got to know one another. Samantha was pretty outgoing right away and seemed quite enthusiastic about the program. She even said that the other girls in her class were jealous of her because she got her own Big! At our first meeting, we ended up going through our icebreaker activities and just talking. As it turns out, we share a love for journaling, reading, and even some of the same bands. I would have never guessed that I had so much in common with a nine year old. We decided that I would come for lunch on Fridays and we would meet in the special clubhouse area at her school. All in all, I left feeling pretty confident in my match with Samantha. I was a little unsure of what we would do each week when I came for lunch, but I really had nothing to worry about because Samantha always has plenty of ideas as soon as I walk through the door. At first, we would read books together and chat about things going on in her life. Then, she wanted to introduce me to her other classmates, which helped me to understand more of what was going on with her friends and school life. She also enjoys playing with my  makeup and hair and showing me new apps on my phone. A few weeks back, I bought a book called “Wreck this Journal” by Keri Smith. If you’ve never heard of it, this book is probably the coolest thing for 3rd through 5th graders. Each page has a different way in which to destroy it. We’ve had a great time stepping on, ripping up, drawing in, and generally destroying the journal over the past few weeks. And recently, I bought a blank notebook so we could create our own and come up with unique ways to wreck it. I have been pleasantly surprised by how well I get along with Samantha and by how many activities we both enjoy doing together. We...

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Big Brothers Big Sisters: Match Time
Feb09

Big Brothers Big Sisters: Match Time

I was sitting at my desk at work on one particularly monotonous day, trying to concentrate on my lengthy to-do list, when my phone started to vibrate. As a rule, I don’t typically answer numbers I don’t recognize (to be fair, I don’t like answering my phone in general), so I quickly silenced it. Wait! I’ve gotten a call from this number before…it could be Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) calling about my match! It had been a few weeks since I had gone through the application and interview process for BBBS, and my suspicions were correct, they had found a potential match for me! My match support specialist, Nicole, had about three pages worth of questions filled out by a 4th grader named Samantha. She also had some additional insight from Samantha’s mother and teacher to help me learn more about her personality. There was a wide range of questions from her favorite things to areas she thinks a Big Sister could help her. Some of the things she shared were silly – she wanted a Big with blond hair (which is totally not me.) Some were helpful – the two of us share a love of reading, writing, and being creative. And some were more serious – Samantha was struggling with being bullied. I learned quite a bit from the extensive information Nicole shared with me, and at the end of the phone call, I made the decision to go ahead with the match and meet Samantha. We coordinated a time at her school for the three of us to meet. It was strange, I hadn’t met her yet, but for some reason I was very upset and worried about the fact that she was being bullied. It is something I had never dealt with, and to be honest, wasn’t quite sure how to. As the meeting loomed closer, I grew more excited and more anxious. What is she going to be like? What are we going to talk about? Will she think I’m cool? Why am I worried about a 9-year-old thinking I’m cool? But you’ll have to wait for the next installment of this series to find those things out. (Although some of those questions will never be answered…) Interested in being matched with a Little of your own? You can find more info and sign up to volunteer here! Maybe you don’t have time in your schedule to be a Big right now. You can sign up for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser. Just like the name suggests, you can bowl with a team or as an individual and help raise money for the...

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Start Something Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters
Jan15

Start Something Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters

I attend quite a few health fairs throughout the year in my line of work. I was at one such fair at Franklin Electric a few months ago (which is an amazing facility, if you’ve never seen it), when I got to talking with Hannah from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana. I told her that I had always thought the program was really cool, but never really knew how to get involved. She informed me that it was very easy and gave me a card to fill out with my contact information (which can also be found online), and said they would be in touch with me in a few weeks. After that initial encounter, I started researching the organization and found out some pretty interesting information: -“Researchers found that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in [the] program, were: 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs 27% less likely to begin using alcohol 52% less likely to skip school 37% less likely to skip a class 33% less likely to hit someone They also found that the Littles were more confident of their performance in schoolwork and getting along better with their families.” -Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network and serves a quarter million children each year. (Information courtesy of bbbsnei.org) After a few weeks had passed, I received an email from Big Brothers Big Sisters containing an application and some additional information. The app is pretty extensive and covers everything from your educational background to the names of your closest friends. While it did take me a while to fill out, I was glad the application was so in depth – it shows their commitment to the safety and happiness of the children they serve. It also allows them to make more accurate matches between Bigs and Littles. The application called for about 6 references in total; two professional, two familial, and two friends I had known for over 3 years. I made sure to notify all of the people I used as references and I’m glad I did because all of them were contacted by BBBS shortly after I submitted my application. They all said they gave me glowing reviews, but I was still nervous. A few weeks after that, I was contacted for my in-person interview with an enrollment specialist. This was pretty extensive, but covered a lot of things that you wouldn’t discuss in a typical job interview. Many of the questions were about my personality, my likes and dislikes,...

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Living Fort Wayne’s 2015 New Years Resolutions
Dec31

Living Fort Wayne’s 2015 New Years Resolutions

As 2014 draws to a close and 2015 looms around the corner, we here at Living Fort Wayne are vowing to change some things in our lives for the coming year. Make sure you keep us honest, these are resolutions we want to keep! Feel free to head over to our Facebook and/or Twitter pages or comment below to share your resolutions with us, we’d love to hear from you! Leslie Snare: I’m going totally cliché and hopping on the juice trend…I already bought my first juicer for at home purposes, but now I am going to vow to hit up the juiciest spots in town on mornings when I’m running late to get my daily dose of fruits and veggies: http://beetstreetjuicery.com/ http://www.jaijuice.com/ Sarah Pine: As a new year rolls around, it’s the New Year’s Resolution that you can expect from about 80% of the people you know. My New Year’s Resolution for 2015 is to jump back on the workout train! I’ve been on that train before but kind of fell off. This time around I’m taking my boyfriend along with me so I can have someone that will motivate me a little bit and actually make sure that I go. There is a Planet Fitness conveniently located by me on the Southwest side of town that I love, so come January I will start my membership back up with them for just $10 a month. Wish me luck! Cassey Hurtado: Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions, my own included. In 2015, I resolve to swap out some of my shopping habits for local buys instead. I’ve already found an awesome place to get my coffee. I’ll be trading in my Folgers coffee for Our Daily Brew’s tasty blends. And when eating out, I’ll skip the usual Chipotle or Panera and opt for a local place, like CS3 (Calhoun Street Soups, Salads and Spirits), the Dash-In or Bravas. Emily Farmer: I’ve never been so happy to see a new year! Now that I’ve finished my college degrees, I find that I have a little more time each day. In 2015, I plan to focus on family. Andy, the kids and I can take more trips to Fort Wayne’s amazing parks and playgrounds like Kreager, Northside, and Bass to name a few. I also want to spend more time with the kids at the Allen County Public Library and share my love of words with them. Here’s to a new year full of smiles and new memories to be made! Ryan Krueckeberg: I’m a pretty active person when it comes to work, community involvement, and my social life....

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