KOKOMO, Ind. — The Family Service Association of Howard County (FSA) was recently honored as the Indiana Campus Compact Outstanding Community Partner award recipient for 2019. The honor recognizes the organization’s longstanding partnership with Indiana University Kokomo.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesekce nominated FSA for the award, noting it has worked with the campus on projects to benefit its clients and IU Kokomo’s students for more than 10 years.
“We appreciate FSA’s dedication to their mission, and we hope to continue our partnership in the coming years,” she said. “Students get real-world experience in working with the agency’s domestic violence shelter and programs they would never be able to get in the classroom. The annual Angel Walk is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on violence against women and children. Many students have their eyes opened to this issue, and can actively be part of the solution.”
Cathy Valcke, IU Kokomo’s director of external relations and public affairs, said the partnership began in 2006, when IU Kokomo’s Office of Student Life decided to participate in the Take Back the Night program, with a goal of ending sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and all other forms of sexual violence.
When officials from FSA heard about the program, they proposed a partnership, to combine the Angel Walk, its annual fundraiser for the domestic violence shelter, with Take Back the Night, to make it a larger fundraising event and a learning opportunity for students.
Now known as Not on Our Campus, Not in Our Community and the Angel Walk, the event has raised more than $212,000 for domestic violence programs.
The campus and FSA also partner to bring student volunteers to the shelter, where they have tutored children, painted walls, and led digital storytelling workshops, empowering shelter residents to tell their stories while also teaching them computer skills that will help them find employment to gain independence.
The Indiana Campus Compact Outstanding Community Partner award recognizes an outstanding community partner organization and its staff and volunteers for their partnership with a member campus, to educate and empower students, while providing a positive impact in their communities.
Tracy Martino, FSA executive director, said she loves the partnership, and is proud to have received the honor.
“This is truly a partnership in which the Family Service Association, IU Kokomo, and the students all benefit, and we are thankful for that,” she said. “Working with the students is inspiring. Benefitting from their abilities, and having the chance to help them grow, and to watch their success, is rewarding and fulfilling.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.