2019 Outstanding Community Partner Award Family Services Association of Howard County, nominated by IU Kokomo
Family Services Association and IU Kokomo have had a strong partnership since 2006. FSA is responsible for the operation of Howard County’s domestic violence shelter and related wrap-around services. The shelter also serves women and children of several surrounding counties, all of which are located within IU Kokomo’s service area.
FSA hosts an annual event called “Angel Walk”, which is a fundraiser benefiting the shelter and domestic violence prevention programs. IU Kokomo’s partnership with FSA combines the “Not On Our Campus…Not In Our Community” program and the Angel Walk as a larger fundraising event and learning opportunity for students.
With the success of the Angel Walk project, other partnerships between FSA and the campus have been created. The School of Education has had students volunteer at the shelter doing everything from painting rooms to tutoring children. The most recent project that featured a partnership between the campus and Family Services Association was “Digital Storytelling”. For six weeks, students from the School of Education, with guidance from Assistant Professor Christina Romero-Ivanova, taught residents of the domestic violence shelter computer skills that they can use for future employment. But more than that, the women began the journey of being empowered to speak, which is key to transitioning from the shelter to independence.