Working to make the community a better place takes time and dedication, and Maranda Fishback knows this all too well. As the Community Engagement Coordinator for Legacy Foundation, her role involves strong communication skills, compassion, and empathy.
“Community participation really motivates me,” Fishback said. “I get to see meaningful conversations taking place and individuals getting involved in the effort to change the community for the better.”
Fishback’s job is to oversee the company’s community programming, including their RISE local government program and On The Table program, which is aimed at getting individuals from all around Northwest Indiana to engage in small group conversations to converse about their communities and uncover methods to improve them overall. She also oversees Legacy Foundation’s youth programs and is making strides to get the younger generation of Northwest Indiana residents involved in community leadership roles.
“I’m really pushing to get the youth involved in their communities,” Fishback said. “In our programs, we never separate the youth from the adults. It’s a great way to cultivate them into their future careers and open their minds.”
Fishback attended Purdue University Northwest as both an undergraduate student and as a MBA graduate student. During this time, she was an intern for the Legacy Foundation from 2015 to 2018, with her responsibilities revolving around the company’s events and managing social media. She integrated into her current position in February 2018.
“The community connection aspect really drew me in,” she said. “We’re doing things that are directly impacting the residents of Lake County, and as an intern, it was the first time I was able to personally connect with the greater Northwest Indiana community.”
Fishback is highly involved in the RISE program, which is all about getting individuals and the overall community involved in local elections. She helps with the production of educational materials and candidate services. In addition, she is also working on the 2020 Census, the constitutionally-mandated count of the population.
“This is an effort to let people know that the local elections are really important,” Fishback said.
Fishback said early voting will begin April 7, with voting centers in 11 locations throughout the county. Regardless of where residents live within Lake County, all of these locations are available to them.
“Look for opportunities to get involved! Be that special voice for your community because it needs you,” Fishback said. “It’s fantastic to get to know people and to see them make a difference.”
The Legacy Foundation’s candidate surveys will be available on vote411.org soon.