State Recognizes Volunteer Contributions

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INDIANAPOLIS -

The service and volunteerism arm of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is honoring several individuals and corporations for community contributions. Serve Indiana's Awards for Excellence include recognition for corporate volunteer, national service member and volunteer program of the year.

This year's winners are:

Corporate Volunteer category: Starbucks

  • The Starbucks Foundation is focused on developing social conscience, defined as ‘valuing the impact an individual and enterprise can have on the community’ by providing young people ages 16 to 24 with pathways to opportunity. In partnership with the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center, Public Allies Indianapolis and local Starbucks Regional Director DeShonne Jackson, the Starbucks Foundation has helped to grow and evolve ongoing professional development for the Public Allies Indianapolis members. Roughly 125 local Starbucks employees have provided more than 500 volunteer hours the past three years in support of Public Allies Indianapolis.

Government Entity category: Indiana Department of Revenue

  • The Department of Revenue has volunteered hours with Habitat for Humanity by building homes for families, cleaning and landscaping properties for Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation of Indiana and building bicycles for foster children with the Boys and Girls Club. To encourage volunteerism through #DORGivesBack, Commissioner Adam Krupp set a goal to engage at least 20 percent of DOR’s employees in the agency-wide volunteering program within its first year. In that time, nearly 140 employees gave back to Indiana by volunteering about 550 hours.

National Service Member Category: Katie Sutton

  • Sutton grew up in Franklin and has been involved in several service projects dating to her youth. She has volunteered with Exodus Refugee and Indy Reads as an English tutor to newly-arrived refugees, and she is a member of Impact 100 of Indianapolis, a local women’s giving circle. Sutton graduated in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in philanthropic studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI and joined AmeriCorps with the Immigrant and Refugee Service Corps. She spent her year of service with Coalition for Our Immigrant Neighbors, a group of service providers working to facilitate community efforts to provide legal, psychological and other services for immigrants in central Indiana.

Volunteer Program category: University of Southern Indiana

  • Volunteer USI is an organization of individuals that cares about education, the arts, athletics and the community. Founded in 1996, Volunteer USI is coordinated through the office of Alumni Relations and Volunteer USI at the University of Southern Indiana. It is a university-wide program to recruit, place and recognize volunteers who give their services and talents to benefit USI and the surrounding communities. Volunteer USI educates and mobilizes students and community members about the many opportunities to give back through volunteer work. During the most recent National Volunteer Week, the past spring, volunteers recorded more than 2 million hours of service.

Volunteerism category: Stephen Long

  • Upon retirement from teaching high school chemistry and biology, Long of Fort Wayne was excited to bring his love of learning and science to younger children. Science Central has allowed him to participate in lab activities on site at the museum, as well as in outreach programs where the lab is brought to students in their schools. Long says he, “…feel[s] like a rock star when we bring fun and exciting hands-on activities to all of the young students…” He, “feel[s] very strongly that science is humanity’s best chance to solve world problems, to actually save ourselves, and that some of these students will be the future scientists who will do it.”

Youth category: Abigail Naumann

  • Naumann is a 15-year-old sophomore at Thomas A. Edison Jr.-Sr. High School in Lake Station in northwest Indiana. She has been actively involved in volunteer organizations since the 7th grade. Her accomplishments include serving as class president the past two years, and president and vice president of her school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter. She also is the founder of her own organization, Abby's Step by Step North West Indiana, which brings awareness to end gun violence, and is found of the not-for-profit The Eagle Foundation, which assists her school's needs for success in the community.

Lifetime Achievement category: Neil Winn

  • Winn was born and raised on a farm near Culver in northern Indiana and attended Manchester College, where he graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He has been employed with the State of Indiana for the past 33 years as a field auditor, computer analyst and desktop support member. Winn has been married to his wife, Michelle, for 31 years, and they have two children. Neil enjoys helping others by spending much of his spare time serving his community through Howard County’s Emergency Management Agency and his local church. Neil’s neighbors, family and friends all recognize him as someone eager to assist in another’s time of need.
  • Perspectives

    • Regional Investment Proposal Could be a Game Changer for Quality of Place Initiatives in Indiana

      While quality of place may be defined differently by people, a growing number of Hoosiers recognize the importance of this issue. In particular, the impact of quality of place on talent attraction and retention in a geographic area cannot be ignored. The future of every community is dependent on quality of place. Like many Midwestern states, Indiana is not growing at the same pace as areas in the southern and western regions of the United States.

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