Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Everyday Champion: Lisa Curran

This story is a part of our Everyday Champions series. Helping youth succeed takes commitment and action from our whole community. Everyday Champions are people who are committed and who act in small and big ways to support youth in central Indiana. Do you know someone who you think would make a great Champion for Youth? Click here to get started.

From work to home, Lisa Curran has a true passion for youth and their needs. As Senior and Youth Program Coordinator, she runs the afterschool, summer camp and Senior programs for the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFE). Additionally, Lisa has fostered and adopted several children in her own home, many of whom have special needs.

"She treats the youth that we serve as her own," says CAFE Executive Director Melissa Drew. "She is committed, compassionate and understanding. I am always amazed by her spirit for the work she does."

How are you an Everyday Champion for Youth?
This is a difficult question to answer as I simply do everyday what my passion is and that is to work to serve the best interests of children. I started as a teenager providing free child care to a parent support group in the area I lived. I babysat every chance I had and knew that someday I would foster/adopt and work with children in whatever avenue I could find. I have been blessed to do this my whole adult life!

Through group home care, fostering, adopting, being a court appointed advocate volunteer, and now in my profession as a Youth Program coordinator, I embrace each day as an opportunity to make a difference in the life of the children I encounter. Each child has a purpose...each child has their own special gifts and talents and it is a privilege to help them discover their value and pursue their purpose.

What impact do you hope to make on youth?
I always make it a goal of mine that each child leave feeling better, stronger, more courageous having spent time together. I want them to know that there truly are limitless possibilities no matter their circumstance and that there are adults who can be trusted, who will encourage and not tear down, who will help and not hurt. I want to teach them to reach out and utilize the resources that are available to them.

What’s one thing that you wish an adult had told you when you were a young person?
That I could do anything that I actively pursued! That there were opportunities waiting to be discovered and shared!

What do you want to do next to support youth?
I want to continue to work in our after school program establishing relationships with the children entrusted to our care, supporting each individual child's academic endeavors. Through our summer camp program, I want to continue to provide educational and recreational memories for a lifetime. Also, I would like to continue to establish programming that supports the families of the children we serve to be the best they can be as parents/caregivers and citizens in the community that they live.

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