Tag : community

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IWU Students Participate in Grant County Rescue Mission Walk-A-Mile

By: Noelle Beans

On February 17th, Grant County Rescue Mission (GCRM) held their annual Walk-A-Mile. As the name states, participants walk a mile for this fundraising event. Funds are raised by generous donations from organizations and companies. These groups will often sponsor a team of walkers for $500. This year, Indiana Wesleyan students themselves donated over $300.

Over 70 IWU students walked in the event. IWU professor and president of the GCRM board, Jim Lo, disclosed that they secretly hope for it to be cold on the day of the walk. This may sound like an odd hope, but it is wished because it gives walkers the chance to understand and empathize with the homeless of Grant County who bear this every day. Along with the IWU students who joined the walk, 670 people in total participated in the event. This number is more walkers than past years.

Along with the Walk-A-Mile, IWU students are involved in a variety of missions in Marion and Grant County. Student chaplains go to Mission Mart. Dakota Davisson, an IWU student and resident chaplain of Reed Hall, shared about her experience with GCRM: “My experience volunteering at GCRM was eye opening, because I was able to truly see the needs of our community. One specific need being a warm cooked meal. Often times I take for granted my meal plan at school, but yet there are community members who would do anything for a single meal even if that means walking a mile. Working in the kitchen at GCRM allowed me to truly serve my brothers and sisters in Christ. GCRM does a great job at not only giving the community members a warm meal but they equip men and women to be able to get back on their feet. As I served meals I realized that I wanted to have the attitudes of those who had nothing. Because in the end it’s not the stuff in our lives that will bring us joy but rather those in our lives.” Jim Lo emphasized that he is so impressed by the actual involvement of IWU students and the ownership of the community they are in.

 

 

Written by Noelle Beans, a writer for the Alumni Center. Noelle is a freshman Nursing and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College.

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Leading the Marion Community

By: Dezaray Barr

Riley Tangeman

Riley Tangeman graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2017 with a degree in social work and a minor in intercultural studies. After seeing how much her older sister enjoyed her experience at IWU and the positive impact it had on her life,  Tangeman felt let to attend IWU. She said her time at IWU was “fun, challenging, freeing and growing.”

While at IWU, Tangeman met a lot of new people who had a large impact on her life. “I made a lot of friends and met many older role models who sharpened me and challenged me to see God in different ways than I ever had,” she said. “My view of God and capacity for faith really expanded throughout my college years. I think the biggest impact IWU had on my life was the social capital and connections it provided me with. Between all of the spiritual, social, and academic opportunities that were available to me, I met people who God used to lead me to where I am today. Every class I took, event I participated in, internship I worked, etc. equipped me and ignited a passion in my heart for the Marion community, and I’m seeing that all come full-circle more and more each day.”

As of recently, Tangeman is the Assistant Development Coordinator at Marion Housing Authority and the Director of Community Relations at The Refinery Business Center on multiple projects that are focused on the revitalization and community development of Marion.

Tangeman and her boss, Steve Sapp, the CEO of Marion Housing Authority

Community development, where Tangeman has found herself, requires patience and faith that the efforts put forward will truly make a difference. “It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of needs that exist here,” Tangeman said. “A daily part of my job is pausing to remind myself that this isn’t my work, but a generous invitation from the Creator to join in the work He’s been doing well before me. When that is my focus, me and God become teammates working together for the community, and I love the limitless feeling that gives me.”

Her favorite day of the week is Monday, for two reasons. One, it’s a fresh start with fresh energy. Second, ‘Monday Punday!’ “I really love puns and cheesy jokes,” Tangeman shared. “I initiated an official Monday Punday Wall in our office, in which it is now tradition that every Monday I post a new pun that my coworkers count on. It makes Monday’s so pun!”

Tangeman would encourage IWU students “to engage in conversations with your professors, people in the community and especially people that are different and/or older than you. The amount of wisdom and knowledge that comes from people themselves is mind-blowing.” She’d also encourage everyone to get out into the Marion community and really take pride in the community beyond campus. “Contrary to popular belief, Marion is not just a poor town that needs our help. It is a beautiful community with a lot to offer anyone with an open mind! Acts of service are nice, but your presence and liveliness will go a lot further! Explore it, love it, value it,” she shared.

 

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Executive Christian Roundtable Inaugural Event

Thres BriggsThis April, the IWU Alumni Association will be hosting an inaugural event, the Executive Christian Roundtable, a gathering of dynamic professionals, committed to living out their faith in the workplace.

IWU Alumni and President & Chief Performance Officer of Performance 3, LLC, Thresette Briggs, will facilitate the event. Thresette’s management consulting firm focuses on speaking, coaching and training services to help leaders and team build the competency and capacity necessary to achieve high performance. Thresette also serves on the Alumni Association Board as CAPS Representative and is passionate about providing individuals who attend the event with the support to excel spiritually in their profession and in the community.

The roundtable will feature an IWU Alum, who was selected because he is respected in the community for not only business leadership, but for also integrating his faith in business leadership. “Alumni from Indiana Wesleyan understand the faith-based community of college experience and this roundtable event is meant to provide the same sense of spiritual support in a professional setting,” Thresette explained. She hopes that this roundtable series will encourage participants to continue living out their faith, and that they will seek additional opportunities to demonstrate their faith in business and in the community, as followers of Jesus Christ.

Thresette identified the core purpose of the roundtable as a way to, “inspire alums, to share faith-based insight and to be encouraged by an alum who attributes success to [his] faith.” To increase the success of the inaugural event, participants will include Alums who are actively participating in alumni events, as well as long-term supporters. “We invited individuals that are interested in this project and are ready to engage in it,” Thresette shared. “In the future we might grow the size of the group, but this is still a trial run.”

“We want to create an environment that will give attendees the opportunity to discuss and celebrate the important work they are doing, while staying true to their faith. We want to empower them to continue that work,” Thresette added. “And a smaller number of participants will facilitate development of a sense of community within the group.”

The Executive Christian Roundtable is scheduled to be a semi-annual event, and aligns with the Alumni Association’s mission that includes building community. “Through dialogue between individuals at the event we hope to help them stay engaged and build community between events,” said Thresette. “We hope that through this event, we can empower them to live out their faith boldly, and be who God has designed them to be.”

Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement said of this event, “It has been a pleasure to work with Thresette preparing this event. I am excited to see how God uses this time and what opportunities He opens for spiritual growth among the Alumni family.”

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Passion Meets Profession: Micah Kephart

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMZAAAAJDY1YjM2NDc5LTIxMDktNDFjNC05OTZiLWJmNDk3YTBjMDlhYQ“It was me, in my bedroom, with a laptop” chuckled Micah Kephart while reminiscing on the founding of Poetice International in 2009. This non-profit organization was born from a man with passion for formal education and AIDS education.

Its vision is to see impoverished countries transformed through the equipping and empowering of indigenous leaders to shepherd their communities into spiritually, sociologically and economically healthy lifestyles.

Kephart explained that he did not feel a strong calling for missions until 2005 when God broke his heart and opened his eyes through a trip to Zambia. Having previously been a church planter, he said that the Lord began creating discontentment in him. “God really wrecked me, is the word I use to describe my experience…but in a way that God said, ‘I want to use all of it, I want to use all of your past all of your experiences, all of your education all of your gifts and talents, for the poor and vulnerable,’” he said.

The experiences God placed in front of Kephart throughout his time in Zambia began to shape his heart, and he knew then that God was calling him to something greater. He felt The Lord saying, “You’re my poem, you’re my orchestration, I’m writing stanzas of hope in peoples lives through you, and that’s kind of where poetry and justice came from.”

Poetry sets the backdrop. Justice takes the stage; this is the proclamation of the name that explains Poetice International. This nonprofit organization focuses on integral mission; they believe that both evangelism and social involvement should be combined. Poetice International calls people to love and repent in all areas of life as those involved bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.

Poetice International has made a way for many to live better lives throughout their six years of work. They currently support over 100 orphans and vulnerable children, assessing individual needs for each child. Care they provide includes tuition sponsorship, uniforms, school supplies, food assistance, mosquito nets, healthcare, and occupational training. They are committed to ensuring that every child in their program graduates high school, whether that means they remain under their care for two years or ten.

UntitledNot only does this organization focus on children and their well-being, but it also focuses on communities as a whole. Poetice International concentrates on water and sanitation throughout each community in order to help alleviate common health issues. This organization also helps to fight infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Leaders and volunteers of Poetice International shepherd young people through biblical purity and sound medical information. Along with teaching medical information, they provide economic advancement for the community by training them and providing the proper materials for agriculture, brickmaking, sewing, and knitting.

“I want God to be pleased,” Kephart explains. “I want those who are caught in exploitation to be set free, I want orphans to hope, I want widows to have dignity and opportunity. It doesn’t matter how many, however many God will grant us. My main goal is to be faithful to the call, and go one step at a time.”

Kephart’s first step began at Indiana Wesleyan University. He explained the discipline he learned through his time at school, “Leading an organization takes incredible focus and incredible discipline, and I would say that began at Indiana Wesleyan. It’s an environment to dream and to believe that the future can be whatever it is supposed to be. I had a lot of space to dream.”

Kephart is now able to live out his dream, always trusting in the Lord and His plan first and foremost. “God’s definition of success is not mine,” he explained. “But I think being faithful is the best thing we can do, the transformation we want to see in the world begins with us.”

And for Kephart, his transformation began at Indiana Wesleyan.

 

Written by Savannah Buckley. Savannah is a sophomore Strategic Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Global Ministries. She is a member of IWU PRSSA and hopes to use her communication skills to work for a nonprofit organization. She loves to incorporate Christ and her testimony throughout her daily life and her work. Visit Savannah’s personal website and blog at www.savannahbuckley.weebly.com.

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