Top 10 community articles on NWI.Life in 2022

Top 10 community articles on NWI.Life in 2022
By: Alayna Wilkening, Aubrey Thomson, Autum Meyers, Claudia Airey, Collin Gee, Curtis Hankins, Gena Demuth, Lauren Grasham, Rachel Calderone Last Updated: December 22, 2022

If there’s one word that could be used to describe the people, places, feelings, experiences, things, and overall vibe of the Region, it’d be community. Our individual, collective, and shared communities are what make our Region so special, and in 2022, we published a lot of content surrounding communities.

Whether it was making kids smile, bringing awards to the most deserving, hard-working people, volunteering for a cause we care about, celebrating what it means to be together, or anything in between, we all felt a sense of community this year in one way or another.

In no particular order, here are the top 10 community articles on NWI.Life to recap the good news in 2022!

South Suburban College makes students their number one priority

At South Suburban College (SSC), there is an essence of authenticity. A quality superior, and supportive experience is provided to help students pursue their goals and achieve success.

SSC President Lynette D. Stokes is passionate about the service provided to current and prospective students.

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center help community members find a peaceful setting in Northwest Indiana

Residents of Marshall County and Northwest Indiana in need of a peaceful and natural setting for a retreat or conference should look no further than the Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center in Plymouth, Indiana.

As a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, Lindenwood offers people a place to retreat and participate in a group setting or as an individual to do inner work on pondering, prayer, reflection, journaling, and more. Lindenwood works with church groups and individuals looking to work toward their best selves.

PNW's Days of Discovery fosters collaborative research between faculty and students

Since 2017, Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) Days of Discovery event has combined student and faculty research into a single, large event.

The first day of this year’s Days of Discovery event was hosted at PNW’s Westville campus inside the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex Great Hall. The rooms sported a colorful collection of posters showcasing the findings of many different research projects underway at PNW.

United Way of Northwest Indiana hosts Meet and Greet with New President and CEO Adam O’Doherty

To help acclimate O’Doherty to his new community, United Way hosted a meet and greet event at Asparagus restaurant in Merrillville. The meetup allowed United Way staff, local business owners, and other community members to meet the new CEO and discuss future plans for the community.

“We're so excited to see that the Lake and Porter United Ways have joined together. They play such a vital role in supporting the needs of the community,” said St. Mary Medical Center CEO Janice Ryba. “As a not-for-profit in the hospital environment, we partner very closely with United Way as a resource for our patients. We’re happy to be here and meet the new CEO.”

Chief of Staff Adrian Vera sees Lake Station as more than a hometown

Lake Station Chief of Staff Adrian Vera has been involved with the city for his entire life. Vera began his career as a lifeguard for the community pool at 16 years old and has since worked to improve the city and the lives of its residents every day.

Vera grew up in Lake Station, and when it was time to look for a job, he decided to become a lifeguard at the community pool located in Riverview Park. He continued to lifeguard for about four years before moving on to take a job at a nearby casino.

Calumet College of St. Joseph graduates show character and perseverance

Graduates along with their proud families and friends gathered for the 60th Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ) Graduation Ceremony. CCSJ bestowed degrees upon 195 students Saturday, May 21, 2022, at St. John the Baptist Church including 54 from the master’s degree programs, 139 from the baccalaureate degree programs, and two from the associate degree programs.

The graduating class also included students from Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Viet Nam. Additionally, there were two sisters who received their Master’s degrees; Lisa Burns in Psychology and Keli Burns in Management. Not to be outdone, Stephanie Daniels earned two Bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor’s of Arts in English, Writing, and Professional Communication and a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice.

Hammond’s College Bound Scholarship Program enables students at Calumet College of St. Joseph to pursue dream professions

For 16 years, the City of Hammond has worked to provide scholarship opportunities to residents looking for financial support to further their education. Students at Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ) have utilized this scholarship to pursue careers in fields like law enforcement and psychology.

Brianna Servin heard about the scholarship from her older sister, who received the aid a few years before Servin graduated high school.

Urban League of Northwest Indiana Tenth Annual Diversity Luncheon celebrates and inspires hundreds

Showing appreciation for all the wonderful things people are doing to make their communities a better place is always a heartwarming affair.

On Wednesday, October 19, over 500 people from all over the Region came together at the Urban League of Northwest Indiana's tenth annual Diversity & Inclusion Awards Luncheon to celebrate the organizations, businesses, and individuals who have truly made a difference. Many laughs, smiles, and even a few tears were shared; everyone left the event feeling inspired to do even more for their communities.

Over 1000 volunteers spread across the Region for United Way of Northwest Indiana’s Annual Day of Caring

Over 1000 volunteers spread out across the Region on Friday, August 5 to help complete projects for dozens of nonprofits as part of United Way of Northwest Indiana’s Annual Day of Caring.

Public parks, animal rescue services, education centers, women’s shelters, and many, many, more organizations all received helping hands in what United Way calls Northwest Indiana’s single largest day of volunteerism.

Big Shoulders Fund helps to guide little shoulders through High School Mentorship Program

In 2021, Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana implemented its virtual mentoring program where six high school students were paired with mentors to help guide them through some of the most important years of their lives.

Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana was launched in the fall of 2019 to extend many of the Chicago region’s already successful and established programs to 19 local schools. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic arriving the following year, much of that programming had to pivot. The Northwest Indiana team still wanted to have options available to help students during the unusual time, and through the help of Andrean High School alum Luke Harangody, they were able to make the mentorship program happen.