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Proud To Sponsor Cadet Vicky Owens As Part Of The 2024 KLA Class


Em Rohrer Posted by: Em Rohrer 2 months ago

(L-R) Mary Lepird, Shari Benyousky, Nicole Fifer, and Vicky Owens

Supporting and investing in our local Kosciusko County community is important to me, and one of the ways I was able to do that this year was by sponsoring Vicky Owens as a cadet in the Kosciusko Leadership Academy (KLA).

What Is KLA?

KLA’s mission is to develop informed and innovative leaders who will serve our community by skillfully leading it into the future. The organization has been a part of our community since 1982 and conducts annual sessions to give students access to the frontline leaders in our community.

Critical community issues like county and state government, healthcare, education, agriculture, business, and entrepreneurship are all thoroughly discussed and examined.

Each KLA cadet develops a “white paper project” to address a variety of needs within Kosciusko County. Many of the projects presented over the years have been implemented to provide real value to our community.

KLA is an organization that I’m passionate about supporting and investing in, and this year I was proud to sponsor Vicky as she and her team developed an incredible white paper project.

The Safe Space Initiative

The “Safe Space” initiative, led by Vicky Owens, Shari Benyousky, Nichole Fifer, and Mary Lepird from KLA, addresses the critical need for a secure and neutral environment for foster children to have supervised visits with their biological parents in Kosciusko County. 

The initiative was inspired by the challenges faced by foster families during supervised visits in public settings, which often hinder the reunification process and all parties’ emotional well-being.

The current practice of conducting supervised visits in public spaces exposes both children and parents to judgment and discomfort. The KLA cadets’ proposed solution is to establish safe spaces that prioritize privacy, comfort, and family interaction during these visits. 

Reunification is the most common goal for children in foster care. When children are separated from their families, the first goal is to reunify them when it is safe enough to do so. Child Welfare Information Gateway

Impacting Kosciusko County

The average number of children within our county who need services each month is 75 and the average number of placements where reunification visits were encouraged is 58. 

Reunification visits are vital for children and their families and they deserve to have a safe and secure place to experience those visits.

What A Safe Space Looks Like

Vicky and her team envision a neutral and secure environment with a homelike atmosphere that would provide a better experience for everyone involved and help ease the transition for children who are often caught in difficult family situations. 

Their goal is to help our community better prioritize these vulnerable children’s well-being and safety and create a supportive and nurturing community for them by providing a safe location to build a family relationship.

Supporting Our Community

There are few things I care about more than connecting with my community. I love being able to give back when I can and support local organizations like KLA that work tirelessly to help empower others to serve those who need it most.

I’ve been a part of the Kosciusko County community since 1977 and truly love this area. My work as a real estate agent has given me a front-row seat to how our community has grown (and is still growing!) over the years and I’m excited to see what comes next!

Whether you’re ready to sell your home, find your dream home, or need advice about local real estate, I’m here to help.