INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 22, 2017) — The State of Indiana, through its volunteer service commission, Serve Indiana, selected eight outstanding Hoosiers and organizations to be recognized for service to the community. The Serve Indiana Awards for Excellence are Indiana’s most prestigious annual awards celebrating the accomplishments of dedicated volunteers and service members.
Nominations were submitted from around the state, and the winners were selected by a panel of Serve Indiana Commissioners, community volunteers and previous award winners. Winners were celebrated with an awards ceremony on Nov. 9, 2017, at the Indiana State House where more than 70 guests joined the celebration. The following local individuals and organization received a 2017 Serve Indiana Awards for Excellence award:
Lifetime Achievement Award
Trena Roudebush has engaged in volunteerism and service since an early age as a Girl Scout. Throughout her adult life, she’s given her time and talents to youth- and family-focused causes including Coburn Place Safe Haven, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis and Kiwanis International, and Active 20-30 U.S. & Canada where she served as National President. Trena is passionate about enabling and empowering others to give back to the community through causes close to their hearts in ways they are able. She takes great pride in the connections she creates and fosters among individuals and organizations throughout Indiana and the country.
Exemplary Service Learning Award
DJ Center for Youth, Inc. is a non-profit youth-serving organization with the mission to provide scholarships to high school students as well as offer programs in the arts while preparing youth to overcome challenging life choices. The vision of the organization is that through guidance, encouragement and post high school preparation, youth will be provided the opportunity to fulfill personal and professional growth. DJ Center for Youth, Inc. continues to offer and promote diverse opportunities and after school activities with a focus in arts and dance integrated with academics. Fully volunteer sustained, the Center prides itself on the concept of youth-adult mentorship and believes this idea starts at home; at any given time, you can find whole families participating in the programs and leadership positions. The core value of the Center is youth philanthropy. The selflessness displayed by its youth leaders as young as six illustrates time and again the true concept of servant leadership.
Alex Rowan is a graduate of Ball State University, with a background in chemistry and music. He began his volunteer journey with Peace Learning Center in 2015. During his two years with this organization, Alex has facilitated Peace Education to over 1,500 students. He has participated in implicit bias, restorative practices and anti-racism trainings. He also plays a major role in event preparation and implementation. He was awarded Peace Learning Center’s Volunteer of the Year, and continues to be an outstanding support of their programs and services. Alex believes that service is important because it opens people’s hearts and minds to life experiences outside their own.
Youth Volunteer Service Award
Joy Sera Bhattacharya is a first generation American. Encouraged by extracurricular activities such as Science Olympiad and Academic Decathlon, Joy nourished the intellectual interests that helped her become an active citizen in the community. Her creativity and passion for business lead her to Global Gifts, a fair trade store. There, Joy became compelled by Global Gifts’ mission: to pay impoverished and exploited global artisans fair prices for their works. Over the past year, Joy has completed over 200 hours of volunteer service at Global Gifts as well a summer internship there in which she was responsible for arranging store displays. Through her work at Global Gifts, Joy has learned the true meaning of the proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”