Features News Feed - NWILife https://nwi.life Mon, 20 Jan 2020 15:14:45 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 #1StudentNWI: RiseNWI empowers local citizens https://nwi.life/article/1studentnwi-risenwi-empowers-local-citizens/ Fri, 17 Jan 2020 15:32:19 +0000 Nicholas Fortin https://nwi.life/article/1studentnwi-risenwi-empowers-local-citizens/ Rise NWI is an important nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in Northwest Indiana that focuses on civic engagement. Their mission statement states, “RiseNWI empowers local citizens to be strong advocates for improved quality of life in Northwest Indiana. We provide the training, resources, and networks necessary to equip all citizens to be active participants in their communities.”

“In early 2017, Ryan Strode and I came together to form a series of workshops on civic engagement for residents in the Northwest Indiana region,” said Sarah Ferraro, founder of RiseNWI. “The ideas and need for the content came from the rising level of engagement, people asking questions, and need to demystify local government aspects in the Region.”

Ferraro and Strode designed a series of workshops called “Civic Engagement Boot Camp,” the first training for which was held in April, 2017 in Miller.

“Forty-five people showed up to learn about being more civic-minded, engaged, and where to get started through a training about the 2018 political landscape, what each position is responsible for, and how to contact your elected officials, as well as what to consider when interested in running for office,” Ferraro said. 

Over the next three months, CEBC held workshops in Miller, Portage, and Schererville to offer citizens opportunities to learn and work with professionals in campaign management and local elected officials in all aspects of building a campaign, voter contact, registering voters, and being heard through written voice by writing to elected officials and letters to the editor. Through this period of time, CEBC had trained over 150 residents through the series of free workshops.

Strode and Ferraro began writing a grant to seek funding to continue their efforts. In late 2017, CEBC became RiseNWI when the grant was in place and approved to be housed through the Legacy Foundation and funded by the Knight Foundation. The name change led to building another series of workshops in the late fall called “Local Elections Matter,” where guest speakers from the Lake County Elections board held workshops about getting involved and filing to run for office. 

RiseNWI was a hit with former State Rep and Lieutenant Governor candidate Christina Hale as keynote speaker on “Finding Your Why: Running for Office.” 

“Since then, RiseNWI continues to build meaningful content in small and large scale workshops, online and printed materials to help residents become better informed, engaged and civically active citizens,” Ferraro said.

Helping people become active citizens is one of Ferraro’s favorite aspects of working with RiseNWI.

“Our ideas truly come from the people who attend, and I am proud that RiseNWI offers opportunities for all ages and all levels. Seeing people who have attended a workshop take off in their own way by running for office or writing a letter to the editor is a great source of pride,” she said. “I truly believe that RiseNWI has only hit the tip of the iceberg in what we can offer with civic engagement in Lake County and beyond!”

Ferraro is looking toward the future of RiseNWI.

“I am excited about the programs RiseNWI continues to design for residents’ needs. RiseNWI has offered workshops at branches of the Lake County Public Library, and we continue to build partnerships and offer refined engagement tools for unique communities around Lake County,” she said. 

If your organization would like more information about the tools RiseNWI provides, please reach out to Community Engagement coordinator, Maranda Fishback (maranda@risenwi.org) to get started.

RiseNWI helps people know about who is on the ballot by using vote411.org, and anyone in Lake County can use that resource to help research who to vote for on the ballot. They also host events, such as letter to the editor training, canvassing training, and more, and they attend parades to hand out flyers. Such events are important because they promote civic engagement, inform the public, and encourage people to vote.

RiseNWI is an important nonprofit and nonpartisan organization in Northwest Indiana. Their goal is to make the public more aware and more active in local government by encouraging more people to vote, ensuring that we all have a say in who our elected officials are. 

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#1StudentNWI: RiseNWI empowers local citizens
#1StudentNWI: Griffith High School Starts New Decade with 2020 Vision https://nwi.life/article/1studentnwi-griffith-high-school-starts-new-decade-with-2020-vision/ Thu, 16 Jan 2020 15:28:05 +0000 Liana Boulles https://nwi.life/article/1studentnwi-griffith-high-school-starts-new-decade-with-2020-vision/ PAP: Preparing GHS Alumni for Adulthood

Panther Adult Pathway Program (PAP) began at Griffith High School in 2019, and with the start of a new decade, it was time to re-visit this revolutionary adult course. Taught by job coaches Amy Gidley and Sarah Velasquez, PAP teaches young adults with special needs how to be independent, focusing on how to keep a home and a job. Almost all of the students are Griffith alumni.

“The program serves special needs students ages 18-22 and teaches them life skills,” said Gidley. “It’s also in place to teach them skills used in different workplaces so they can become employable.” 

The classroom is designed to resemble an apartment including couches, a clothing rack, and cooking equipment. The students learn how to live independently. They learn how to cook meals, which involves reading recipes and grocery shopping, how to use appliances, how to keep their home clean, and how to entertain guests. Gidley hopes to get a bigger learning space in the future; She wants to include a stove, washing machine, and dryer. For now, they use a microwave and toaster oven to cook and visit the laundromat to learn how to do their laundry.

“They volunteer at different workplaces where they learn skills to be employable,” said Gidley. “They volunteered at the Northwest Indiana Food Bank, Animal Control, a horse stable where they cleaned stalls and fed the horses.”

One of the most notable workplaces they’ve visited is Recycled Granite, a company that only hires special needs employees and breaks up granite countertops to reuse them for landscaping and art. 

“I get pictures of [student] Nicholas [Sharp] doing things at home,” said Gidley. “My favorite thing is when the kids’ parents tell me, ‘Oh, they did the dishes,’ or cooked a meal. Things they don’t normally do.”

Student Spotlight

Griffith senior Curtis Carter is co-editor of the Reflector, Griffith High School’s yearbook. He started out in publications in eighth grade and has since become one of the most experienced journalism and yearbook students at GHS. He’s also publications’ class savior; He and co-editor Emily Keck fought to keep yearbook and newspaper as a class for the 2019-2020 school year as teachers and classes were cut, including longtime publications advisor Kristina Collard. 

“At the time, Mrs. Collard was still the advisor for publications, so Emily and I felt it was our responsibility to try and get the classes back for us and for her,” said Carter. “We already had the theme and editors picked out for the 2019-2020 book, and we weren’t going to give up so easily.” 

Carter and Keck spoke at school board meetings, advocating to have a publications class instead of the activity being demoted as an after school club. Thanks to their efforts, Newspaper and Yearbook are a combined class that works together to tell the school’s stories. 

As editor, Carter is responsible for ensuring the yearbook is completed with the highest quality possible. For 2019-2020, the theme is 2020 Vision. Every spread (two yearbook pages that face each other) must be planned, designed, and edited to fit the theme. It’s a yearlong process that Carter and Keck divide into deadlines and build from the blank page.

“When we logged into eDesign at the beginning of the year, we had completely blank spreads. We started off the year by creating a ladder, a sheet that has page numbers where you plan the spreads –what page is going to be what spread. After creating a paper spread, we named all of the spreads on eDesign and set deadlines so the computer would tell reporters when the spreads are going to be due. After that, we just started designing Deadline 1 and began assigning spreads to reporters.”

Carter begins a spread by placing the headline and story, written by the assigned reporter, in the template. He chooses the dominant photo with three to four additional pictures and strives to give each spread a unique element, such as a sidebar. His most important job, however, is proofing.

“I look through the current deadline, find any edits or anything that needs to be done, and then I write them down. If something’s off, or there are design flaws, I’ll fix it,” Carter said. “We [Emily and I] split the work half and half and broke the book up into sections such as academics, student life, and sports.”

Carter and Keck have many responsibilities but love the work that they do.

“As one of two students with the most experience in journalism and yearbook, I felt it was my responsibility to make sure that this book was carried through and published at the end of the year,” Carter said.

Carter also works at Strack & Van Til. He plans to attend the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington to double major in Business Finance and Accounting. “I’m really looking forward to being in a new environment and accept any opportunities that could come my way.” 

Staff Spotlight

Miranda Peterson came to Griffith High School this year as the new advanced English and publications teacher. Before coming to GHS, Peterson was a lecturer at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond with a background in communications and media. She was also a librarian and media specialist at Hammond High School. This is her first year teaching high school English.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the high school classroom for the first time, as I was a Library & Media Specialist last school year,” said Peterson. “Learning the school’s operations and curriculum has been challenging, but very rewarding.”

Peterson teaches AP English Language and Composition, English 12, and a combined class of newspaper and yearbook. Teaching at Griffith has proved an educational experience, to say the least. Peterson had to adjust from being a librarian and lecturer to a full-time teacher of seniors. Instead of preparing lectures for a mature college audience twice a week, lessons are daily for high schoolers with “close[ness] in age, but… a difference in maturity and motivation.” She has also had to learn how to run a yearbook and newspaper with help from the editors. 

“I love tapping into my communications background, and sharing new information with the publications students,” gushed Peterson. “Teaching yearbook and newspaper at the same time has been interesting, as I have to balance the time I spend working with each staff. I can blend some direction and lessons, but they are separate publications that need designated guidance. The biggest challenge has been gaining the trust of the staff. Following in the footsteps of an excellent teacher is wonderful because all the students are trained and dedicated. However, they are hesitant to transition to new leadership.”

So far, Peterson thoroughly enjoys her work. She tries to find material that feels relevant to her students and nourishes their literary talents. Being a young teacher, she finds it easier to relate to students. 

“So far, it has been a great experience. My goals for this include updating the English 12 curriculum, revamping the publications department, and trying to create an even work/life balance. I have learned from my students, colleagues, and administration team, and look forward to growing as an educator.”

What’s Coming Up

Turnabout, the school’s winter formal, will be taking over the hearts and minds of teenagers on January 31. Girls get to ask boys out through creative, sweet proposals. The dance will take place at Patrician Banquets in Schererville. Students must stay until sixth period before leaving to get ready for the ball. 

Middle School Drama Night is on February 7, 8, and 9. It consists of four one-act plays directed by high school drama students and performed by middle schoolers. The purpose of middle school drama is to give younger pupils a chance to find their footing in theater and groom the next generation of high school starlets. 

Band and choir are gearing up for ISSMA District Solo and Ensemble on February 8, at Munster Middle School. Musicians will be performing solos and multi-player pieces to be analyzed by judges from all over the Region. They will receive a rating, feedback, and a medal (bronze, silver, or gold) based on their musicianship. Soloists and ensembles that receive a gold rating in Group I, the most advanced division, advance to State Solo and Ensemble.

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#1StudentNWI: Griffith High School Starts New Decade with 2020 Vision
#1StudentNWI: Gymnastics and business at Hobart High School https://nwi.life/article/1studentnwi-gymnastics-and-business-at-hobart-high-school/ Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:49:53 +0000 Katy Webber https://nwi.life/article/1studentnwi-gymnastics-and-business-at-hobart-high-school/ Hobart Gymnastics 

When it comes to athletics there are always the sports people immediately think of, such as football and soccer. Few people think immediately of gymnastics. Gymnastics is an athletic activity in which the people involved work very hard in for the same reasons that football players and baseball players work hard: because they love the sport. Gymnasts love the endurance that it takes to be a part of this team, and they love getting to exercise and make the work look pretty in the process. 

The gymnasts of Hobart High School are having a Chick fil-a drive Tuesday, January 21 to raise money for their team. This event will take place from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Merrillville Chick fil-a location. The girls of the team hope to raise enough money to make this year’s season one for the books.

Business Professionals of America

New clubs come into high schools all the time, but new clubs taking off and actually staying around are rare and can be considered slim to none. The newest club to lay down roots here at Hobart High School is the brand new Business Professionals of America, which is essentially for people who are interested in pursuing business. This club had its first ever meeting on Tuesday, January 14 directly after school in room 1314, and will take place again on January 28.

The kickoff meeting of 2020 started with setting goals for the New Year and learning how to actually achieve those goals. If students are interested in digital communication and design, management, marketing, communication, virtual multimedia, web and mobile application, start up enterprise, finance/accounting, business administration, or management information systems, they are encouraged to join.

Teacher Spotlight

When it comes to business management, Valentine Torres is the best teacher around, or at least that’s what her students say. Torres is no stranger to Hobart High School—she’s been here for a few years and has loved every second of it. She loves being able to teach her students about the skill that she is passionate about: business.

Recently, Torres has seen the number of people who are interested in business grow tremendously, so she decided to start a brand new club, hopefully one that will attract the attention of people who are considering going into this field. 

Torres is now the head of the Business Professionals of America club, where students who are interested in any of the major aspects of business can get the chance to expand their knowledge and skills to better their future. Students involved also have the chance to meet new people who have a similar hobby to them and find the business world just as fascinating. Torres is very excited to see where this club leads the new generation of business managers. 

Student Spotlight

When it comes to all around good people, Iyanna Steele is one of the best. Many agree and say that just seeing Steele smile at them in the hallway or wave at them from across the cafeteria makes their days better. She loves making people smile and feel better about themselves, and she always has. She can be described as selfless to the core and the sweetest person in the world.

Of course, there is more to Steele than just her amazing personality. She is involved in Hobart High School’s theatre department and has been for three years now. She started theatre during her sophomore year, performing in The Wizard of Oz as an ensemble member. She loved the experience of theatre so much that she decided to audition for the spring play, You Can’t Take it With You and got her first supporting role of Essie. She decided to stick with theatre for the entirety of her high school career. She especially loves the choreography aspect of it. 

Steele said the reason she loves the choreography of theatre so much steams from her background in gymnastics. She has been in gymnastics for most of her life and is currently a part of the gymnastics team at Hobart High School. Steele hopes to continue with her love of gymnastics and theatre,  and wishes everyone luck in the future. 

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#1StudentNWI: Gymnastics and business at Hobart High School
A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Kelly McGuire https://nwi.life/article/a-northwest-indiana-life-in-the-spotlight-kelly-mcguire/ Wed, 15 Jan 2020 07:00:16 +0000 Curtis Hankins https://nwi.life/article/a-northwest-indiana-life-in-the-spotlight-kelly-mcguire/ According to Children’s Rights, an organization dedicated to protecting and fostering hope in America’s children, almost 443,000 kids are in foster care around the country on any given day. They’re not always visible, but plenty of those kids are spread about Northwest Indiana, including in the home of Hobart’s Kelly McGuire.

McGuire earned a spot in the national spotlight after giving the boots on her feet to a homeless woman after a Bears game. The Facebook post she made about the encounter went viral, and McGuire’s kindness drew the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who invited the lifelong Hobart resident onto her eponymous talk show. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but if you ask McGuire to talk about her life’s highlights she only really talks about one thing – parenting.

“From a very early age, I knew that I was interested in caretaking and helping. I just loved the whole idea of motherhood,” McGuire said. “I have two biological kids who are 5 and 4 years old, and my adopted twins.”

She and her husband/high school sweetheart Sean McGuire permanently adopted the pair after falling in love while fostering them.

“We knew that we wanted a big family, we just weren’t sure how to go about it,” McGuire said. “Then I remembered back in high school when I heard about a family who was fostering kids. I just had a light go off in my head telling me ‘I want to do that.’ It wasn’t until my husband brought it up, and let me know he was completely on board, that we knew that fostering was how we’d expand our family.”

With four kids ages 5 and younger, the McGuires are on hold as long-term fosters right now. Instead, Kelly dedicates her extra time to helping other foster families around the Region.

“Fostering is a gift to these families,” she said. “I truly believe that we should be doing everything we can to help take care of people who are down on their luck, or need a little bit of extra help. There’s so much that everybody has to offer, be it bringing kids into your home or bringing meals to families doing foster care.”

McGuire attributes her philosophy toward parenting and foster care to her mother’s influence.

“I am everything that I am because of the mom who raised me, and that’s the truth,” McGuire said. “She taught us really early about the biblical idea to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. She’s so patient, kind, and just the most constant, stable provider in my life. She took care of us while my dad was deployed all the time and I can’t remember one time when she complained about it.”

Her parents still play a big part in her life, and serve as part of the support network she relies on for her kids – foster or otherwise. She lives sandwiched between her parents and her husband’s parents, with her sister living just down the road. Beyond that, she is continually impressed by the support shown by the community at large.

“The foster community across both Lake and Porter counties is a real family that’s banded together to support these kids,” McGuire said. “Locally, my dad works at the high school and is a part-time pastor at Church of the Nazarene. That church was so gracious and donated around 30 boxes of diapers and meals for two weeks when the twins were first placed with us.”

When she manages to find free time, McGuire loves to spend it with music. She used to teach it part-time to young children, and still finds time to occasionally tutor family and friends. Despite all the excitement that comes with raising four kids, her favorite part of every day is very simple.

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A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Kelly McGuire
10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN NWI THIS WEEKEND January 17-19, 2020 https://nwi.life/article/10-fun-things-to-do-in-nwi-this-weekend-january-17-19-2020/ Tue, 14 Jan 2020 21:59:11 +0000 Kole Rushmore https://nwi.life/article/10-fun-things-to-do-in-nwi-this-weekend-january-17-19-2020/ On the search for a fun activity this weekend? You can find the Region’s BEST activities in our weekend guide. From music concerts to the great outdoors, this guide has something for everyone. See for yourself!

Winter Wonderland at Wolf Lake

All families are invited to come have fun at the 19th annual Bi-State Winter Wonderland at Wolf Lake festival!

Click here for more information.

Movie Night

A goofy stork mistakenly delivers a baby panda to the wrong door. A bear, a moose, a tiger and a rabbit set on an arduous but fun-filled adventure through the wilderness to return the panda to its rightful home.
Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Click here for more information.

Laser Metallica at the Challenger Learning Center of NWI

Take my hand, we’re off to never-never land in Laser Metallica! Get ready to thrash to Master of Puppets, For Whom the Bell Tolls and more smash hits when Metallica’s heavy metal sound is joined with powerful laser lights!

Click here for more information.

Dunes Geocache Adventure Day

This is a fun geocaching event that lets any level of geocachers come together to compete and enjoy the beauty of our Indiana Dunes region. This year’s challenges and prizes are themed around Duneland architecture.

Click here for more information.

Stargazing Through Telescopes

Join fellow astronomy lovers and enjoy our night sky from one of the darkest spots in Indiana Dunes National Park.

Click here for more information.

La Porte Little Theatre “The Bullying Collection”

This collection of 10-ten minute plays is not part of the regular season subscription, but an extra show that focuses on Bullying and it affects on students and adults alike. 

Click here for more information.

Footlight presents “A Night at the Opera”

The Footlight Players of Michigan City will present two performances of A Night at the Opera, featuring talents from Michigan City’s Monday Musicale. This opera gala is being presented to benefit Drama and Musical Education Scholarships for both Monday Musicale and Footlight Players.

Click here for more information.

Chad Clifford LIVE at the Miller Ikes

Come see Chad Clifford of the Crawpuppies LIVE and acoustic at the Miller Chapter.

Click here for more information.

Memorial Opera House 2020 spring concert series – MegaBeatles

A Fundraiser to benefit Memorial Opera House Foundation. They’re back! Joining us for the sixth consecutive year, members of The Crawpuppies and Chris & Lou will present a spectacular trip down memory lane as we kick off the 2020 season!

Click here for more information.

Hidden Jail History

Gain a new perspective on the historic Porter County Jail as you join Executive Director Kevin Pazour on a guided tour through the 149-year-old structure.

Click here for more information.

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10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN NWI THIS WEEKEND January 17-19, 2020
10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN NWI THIS WEEKEND January 17-19, 2020 https://nwi.life/video/10-fun-things-to-do-in-nwi-this-weekend-january-17-19-2020/ Tue, 14 Jan 2020 21:47:02 +0000 Kole Rushmore https://nwi.life/video/10-fun-things-to-do-in-nwi-this-weekend-january-17-19-2020/ 10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN NWI THIS WEEKEND January 17-19, 2020 #1StudentNWI: Highland January Update https://nwi.life/article/1studentnwi-highland-january-update/ Sun, 12 Jan 2020 03:43:28 +0000 Tyler Prendergast https://nwi.life/article/1studentnwi-highland-january-update/ Student Spotlight: Danielle Rubalcaba

The new year is full of opportunities for Highland High School Junior Danielle Rubalcaba, who is a Track and Field athlete.

Rubalcaba, who is a thrower, is ready to get started with the new season.

“I’m hoping to be at my best this season, and enjoy it too.”

This is Danielle’s second season on the Track and Field team.

“I started track last year, and it was a great experience. I really wish I had started sooner during my freshman year!”

Danielle knows that working hard at practice is an important aspect of succeeding on the field. 

“I participate in both shot put and discus and I work hard so I can succeed in both events.”

Although she looks forward to being on the field and competing, she also likes to spend time improving. 

“I enjoy training because I get to lift during conditioning and practice my form before the season starts.”  

Being part of the team is a big responsibility, but Rubalcaba embraces it. 

“I have practice almost every day, so being in track is time-consuming, but it’s worth it. It also helps me develop a good work ethic.”

Danielle also knows that being on the team isn’t a one-woman show. 

“Being in track and being a part of a team is beneficial to myself and my fellow teammates as we develop and grow together. We are able to cheer each other on and support one another.”

As a member of the team, Danielle is able to see all of the great things that come from it. 

“Being in track has been very beneficial as it’s a great way for me to challenge myself, but more importantly, I gained some great friends.”

As the season continues, it seems certain that Rubalcaba will improve on herself, as well as help her team get better. 

The first competitive meet will be on Mar. 7.

What’s Happened Recently: A New Semester

It’s a brand new semester at Highland High School when classes resumed on Jan. 6 after the new year.

Although it’s still January, spring sports are on the horizon. Baseball, Softball, Boys’ Golf, Tennis, and Track and Field athletes are getting ready for their upcoming athletic seasons, as well as beginning conditioning.

Winter sports will also continue and finish up their seasons within the new year, giving Highland students plenty of different athletic teams to root for during this semester. 

What’s Coming Up: Turnabout Dance

Highland High School’s winter Turnabout dance is coming up soon!

The dance will be held at Villa Cesare, a banquet hall in Schererville, and all Highland students are invited to attend.

The dance will be on Dec. 17 and will be three hours long. It will start at 7:00 p.m. and last until 10:00 p.m. 

There will also be a spirit week later on in January! This week will allow students to dress up as a different theme for each day. 

With the dance quickly approaching, it gives Highland students something to look forward to as they ease back into another semester of learning. 

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#1StudentNWI: Highland January Update
December 2019 #1StudentNWI Recap https://nwi.life/video/december-2019-1studentnwi-recap/ Thu, 09 Jan 2020 19:28:13 +0000 Stacey Kellogg https://nwi.life/video/december-2019-1studentnwi-recap/ December 2019 #1StudentNWI Recap 10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN NWI THIS WEEKEND January 10-12, 2020 https://nwi.life/video/10-fun-things-to-do-in-nwi-this-weekend-january-10-12-2020/ Wed, 08 Jan 2020 14:35:56 +0000 Kole Rushmore https://nwi.life/video/10-fun-things-to-do-in-nwi-this-weekend-january-10-12-2020/ 10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN NWI THIS WEEKEND January 10-12, 2020 A Northwest Indiana In The Spotlight: Leah Gorby Woods https://nwi.life/article/a-northwest-indiana-in-the-spotlight-leah-gorby-woods/ Wed, 08 Jan 2020 11:00:01 +0000 Sergio Valdes https://nwi.life/article/a-northwest-indiana-in-the-spotlight-leah-gorby-woods/ A stay-at-home mom living in Hebron with her husband and three kids, Leah Gorby Woods said she is who she is because of her role as a mother. Through the challenges she has faced, she has learned how to be humble and to appreciate the good things.

“Being a mother made me learn great patience and to just roll with whatever life throws at you,” she said.

Gorby Woods said her inspiration was her mother Leann, who was a stay-at-home mom of four girls who also figuratively adopted so many of their friends. Leann was the parent everyone called Mom, or “Mama G”.

“I still have people tell me they love my mom and that she is the kindest woman they’ve ever met.”

Gorby Woods’ family has lived in the Region for at least eight generations, with historical records showing their ancestors moved into the area in 1837.

“Our family has had the same farm for five generations, and I currently live on the same road as the house my grandfather was born in,” she said. “There are landmarks and certain backroads that we know by another name because that’s what it was called by my great-grandma. This area is just part of my family history, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.”

Despite the challenges that motherhood can sometimes bring, Gorby Woods appreciates her sisters Kim Swartz, Erin Strickland, and Lauren Ludwig for being a solid support system.

“They’re always there when I need someone to lean on, willing to give advice and they won’t judge me for the mistakes I have made,” Gorby Woods said. “Also, sometimes you need someone to tell you when you’re in the wrong. There’s the added bonus: they accept my quirks and oddities because theirs are very similar.”

Amidst all of the hard work, Gorby Woods states that the key to finding success is to make time to take a break and do things that you love.

“The phrase ‘you get what you give’ comes to mind. If you aren’t willing to put anything into something, you shouldn’t expect to get anything out of it.”

In her free time, Gorby Woods likes to work on various arts and crafts. She has made party decorations, invitations, banners, and posters, with themes like Star Wars and Disney. She is in the process of starting her own Etsy shop or maybe even doing craft shows.

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A Northwest Indiana In The Spotlight: Leah Gorby Woods