There are many people that are involved in I Support Community, whether that be through a role on the Board of Directors, a volunteer with our Inside Out Club, or a corporate partner, I Support Community would not be what it is today without each and every one of them. This month we feature one of our Lead Volunteers for the Inside Out Club, Sarah Dumler, a faculty at North Central College assisting with an evaluation process, Mary Beth Ressler, and one of our Corporate Sponsors, Jackie Rhew from Amita Health.
Sarah Dumler, Education Student at North Central College – Inside Out Club Lead Volunteer
Currently a junior elementary education student at North Central College, Sarah belongs to the group Educators Rising which began working with I Support Community during the spring of 2016. Always having a passion for community service, Sarah was able to become a lead volunteer for the fall session of Inside Out Club at Elmwood Elementary School for the 3rd thru 5th graders in 2016.
Sarah says “I believe it is beneficial for young students to learn about ways to serve others. The Inside Out Club is a great way to combine my two passions of community service and education, and I enjoyed seeing the students become more aware and thoughtful of those in need in just four meetings.”
Sarah says that being a lead volunteer has been a great way to give back to the community, not only by helping young students “understand social issues people in their community and around the world face” but also by helping them with activities that give back to the organizations the students learn about. “I think this club does a great job of combining engaging hands-on activities for students to participate in while also educating them on real-world issues.”
When she’s not giving back to the community, Sarah enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as reading and baking.
Mary Beth Ressler, North Central College Education Professor – Community Partner
Mary Beth is an Education Professor at North Central College and co-advisor for the student program Educators Rising. She first learned of I Support Community through Greg Ruthig, another Professor and husband of Marion Ruthig, the founder of I Support Community. After a meeting with Marion, Mary Beth and Kathleen King, co-advisors for Educators Rising, thought that partnering with I Support Community was a perfect fit.
Mary Beth, Kathleen and the students “were thrilled with the opportunity to use their developing skills as pre-service teachers to help develop aspects of curriculum and serve as volunteers for Inside Out Club.” The Educators Rising group helped review and develop lessons for the Inside Out Club, as well as organizing and conducting research to examine the impact that I Support Community is making on the community.
Mary Beth encourages others to get involved in I Support Community because “as youth are taught how to become empathetic and to do what is right to help others, they are learning about how much we all need each other and how much we grow when we work together. I love that learning and teaching occurs in an authentic way and that the learning is focused on the social and emotional aspects of children’s development that are just as, if not more, important as the intellectual ones.”
When she isn’t teaching or advising the Educators Rising group, Mary Beth loves spending time with her family hiking or doing anything outdoors.
Jackie Rhew, Amita Health – Corporate Partner
Jackie works for Amita Health (Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital), one of the Corporate Partners for the I Support Community Inside Out Club. As Amita Health works “with community agencies, school districts, as well as private agencies on ways to promote emotional and physical health for our children and families,” Jackie thought that the mission of I Support Community aligned well. Jackie adds that “Amita Health is excited to partner with I Support Community and help children develop compassion and awareness for those who are experiencing difficulties.”
Jackie believes that “I Support Community is a great way to teach children to get involved with their communities, as well as model compassion, empathy and understanding which are so needed.”
“The idea of helping kids develop character is one I feel strongly about and am looking forward to partnering with this mission.”
In her free time, Jackie loves to run, swim and spend time with her family and enjoys the outdoors and fresh air.