State Senate District 44
*I am running for the state Senate because families in Indiana deserve someone who will help them break their personal glass ceiling. Whether it’s preschool for our kids, or finding new ways for adults to access post-secondary education, greater opportunities for our families will lead to a stronger economy and stronger communities
The drug epidemic, particularly the startling rise of heroin and its impact on rural communities, is a key issue that I plan to discuss in the campaign.
I have an extensive background lifting up communities across Indiana, particularly in southern Indiana. With a strong focus on workforce development, youth and family issues, and community and economic development strategies, I have worked for the Indiana Youth Institute, Purdue University’s Community Systemwide Response initiative, and the Indiana Prevention Resource Center, where I assisted communities with alcohol and drug prevention initiatives. I have also worked to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens as a service coordinator with Res-Care, Inc., serving four group homes for developmentally disabled adults. Currently a community relations specialist for the IU School of Public Health, I am also an adjunct instructor for IvyTech Community College in Bloomington.
As I travel and work with people from all walks of life in this district, it is all too clear that the Indiana Legislature has failed to focus on the priority needs of families, schools, local communities and our region. It’s imperative we work together – here and in Indianapolis – to shift focus back to what matters, so we can put our families and communities on strong footing for the future.
A longtime community servant, I have dedicated my time to a number of initiatives impacting Lawrence County and surrounding south central Indiana communities. These initiatives include Safe Night in Lawrence County, which promotes a drug free community; Community Learning Centers, which focus on workforce development; Families Forever, Inc., which supports families in Lawrence County; and Lawrence County Domestic Violence Coalition. I also collaborated with the faith community in the creation of the Marriage and Family Alliance.
I also served on a number of Lawrence County non-profit boards, including the Girl Scouts and Lawrence County Fair Board. I currently serve on the Lawrence County Public Defender board and Families Forever, Inc.
From 1992-1994, I represented District 65 in the Indiana House of Representatives. I pioneered the Community Learning Centers concept, which provides post-secondary education opportunities to non-traditional and traditional students in their own communities. Today, there are approximately 48 Community Learning Centers in the state.
A graduate of Bedford North Lawrence High School, I earned both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University. I live in Bedford and am a member of Lifepoint Church.
*For consistency purposes, this candidate statement has been edited into first-person
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