Ali Wren – Influencing the Classroom and Eating World
By: Emily Lehner
Alison Wren graduated from Indiana Wesleyan in 2007 with degrees in both Exceptional Needs Education and Elementary Education. However, there is truly no limit to her talents. In the midst of reaching the hearts and minds of her young students, Wren grasps the attention of a completely different group of individuals as well.
In her spare time, Wren keeps a website and blog (www.aliwren.com) documenting her experiences with food allergies and life in general. She shares of her journey in discovering her allergies of gluten and dairy. It took her over a two year span with many trials and errors to discover these allergies.” At first, I would let myself cheat every now and then, thinking maybe a bite of this ice cream or this and that. But then, I would feel terrible for days after. So, eventually I just decided that to feel my best, I have to cut these things out completely,” said Wren.
Currently, Wren works alongside restaurants in the Indianapolis area to make their menus more applicable to those with food allergies. She covers topics on her blog that allow the reader to strive towards whole-hearted living. One of the majors topics Wren discusses is comparison. “When I was in college, I felt as if I was constantly comparing myself to others. After college, I realized that I could only do the best that I was able to. That has been life-changing for me,” she said. Wren has written an e-book available on Amazon called #InstaEnvy.
Wren believes that one of the best parts about her time at IWU was the community. She stated, “When my husband and I graduated, we had to be very intentional to find community. We realized that was because at IWU, our community was so close-knit.”
During her time at IWU, Wren believes she made some authentic friends. She said, “The professors invested in my life and taught me to do things with excellence. We were encouraged to accept the things God made to be our strengths.” She has taken the lessons she learned during her time at IWU and applied them to her current career.
Along with having a presence online, Wren reaches students’ hearts in the classroom as well. “Special Education gave me the ability to see all students. I could focus in on the students’ needs and gifts,” she stated. Now, however, Wren teaches a class of first graders for the first time since graduating. She believes God truly hand-picked her class for her this year. “Teaching is difficult, but so rewarding. And, the joy that comes from it is so worth it,” Wren said.
Wren acts as a good steward of what she has been given by making the most of her gifts and talents. She teaches at Forest Dale Elementary in Carmel, Indiana. You can find more about her here: www.aliwren.com.
Written by Emily Lehner, a writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.