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Nominations Being Accepted for Top Indiana Youth Worker

If you know someone who strives to make life better for Indiana young people, nominate him or her for a youth worker award by Aug. 14. (B. Gelwick)
If you know someone who strives to make life better for Indiana young people, nominate him or her for a youth worker award by Aug. 14. (B. Gelwick)
July 20, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Many people work tirelessly to make life better for youth in Indiana, and one of those individuals will be honored with the 2017 D. Susan Wisely Youth Worker of the Year Award.

Laura Ingram, program director for the Pride Prism Youth Community in Bloomington, is a therapist and foster parent who holds training sessions for teachers on LGBTQ sensitivity.

She was 2015's Youth Worker of the Year, and used the award money to attend conferences for those who work with LGBTQ youth.

She says nonprofit groups, like the one she works for, don't often have funding for these events that are key to helping their workers grow. She adds Indiana has made some strides, but still has work to do.

"I think overall Indiana probably has a ways to go, on particularly creating safe school environments for LGBTQ youth, especially in more rural counties," she states.

Nomination forms can be found on the Indiana Youth Institute's website. The deadline is Aug. 14.

The winner will be notified on Oct. 2 and will be recognized at the 2017 Because KIDS COUNT Conference in November.

The award and its $2,500 prize are for people whose work is making an impact on Hoosier youth, and who want to continue their work with children in Indiana.

Ingram has advice for anyone who thinks they might want to do that.

"Listen to the youth you're working with,” she says. “Ensure that your programs aren't just youth serving, but youth led.

“Really put young people in a position of empowerment, so that they can be leaders within your organization. A lot of times, you can really take your lead from them."

Funding for the award comes from the D. Susan Wisely Leadership Legacy Fund, part of the Central Indiana Community Foundation.


Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN