A Program of The Legacy Foundation

Past Team Projects

Multi Colored Underline
Team NameTeam MembersMain IdeaYear
211: A Resource for Wapello CountyChad Arnold, Trisha Doudou, Noah Eklund, Russ Hull, Jennifer Reynolds, Alysia SimmonsA 2021 community assessment was completed and highlighted that 30% of Wapello County parents were not able to access the resources they need to meet basic living needs. One of the major barriers to finding the necessary assistance is finding contact information for providing organizations. There are two key indicators for why these barriers exist. One, being the lack of knowledge of a resource system called 211 Iowa and another being the deficiency of data integrity for institutions providing services in Wapello County. Many agencies report that the major contributing factor is the speed at which their information changes resulting in inaccurate or missing information from the 211 database.
Team proposed the solution to organize and increase Wapello County utilization of the 211 program by engaging community organizations to create and/or update their information in the database. Phase one should be done by creating and hiring a Community Outreach Coordinator position as part of the United Way of Wapello County who will create and maintain a local database of Wapello County organizations and contacts. This position will then begin making one one-on-one contact with each organization in Wapello County that is providing services to the community to gather information and educate the service providers on the 211 database process. The coordinator will also coordinate monthly meetings with community organizations until 80% of organizations utilize and update the 211 system. These meetings will then switch to quarterly meetings to maintain moving forward. The goal would be to have 50% of known Wapello County entities updated in 211 by April, 2024 and 80% updated by October, 2024. Another option if hiring a coordinator is not feasible, is to have current staff resource dedicate a percentage of their time to oversee this work. Phase two of the project would be to market the use of 211 to the community and should begin after phase one completion.
The SCODA ProjectDavid Bossou, Aaron McConnel, Karla Guerra, Sandra Pope, Meadow ReamFirst Resources Corp. would like to address the widespread and growing substance abuse issue present in Ottumwa and Southeast Iowa. As an organization whose priority it is to serve those experiencing substance abuse, the issue facing our community is quite apparent. The goal of this project would be to help normalize sobriety -especially by reaching youth and teens. By delaying the urge to try substances, we can greatly reduce the number of people that do. A previous example of a social norming campaign would be "Natural High". The Steer Clear of Drugs and Alcohol (SCODA) Project team’s main objective is to develop a Coalition of community volunteers who will be present and active in the community.
One focus of the team immediately was a peer-to-peer guidance program
called “The Bulldog Belief Project”. The Bulldog Belief Project was tasked as being a pilot
mentorship program which would be a joint operation with the Ottumwa Community School
District. Our vision for the project was to have Ottumwa High School Student Council Members
travel to the elementary schools and using the “Natural High” curriculum speak with the youth about abstaining and preventing alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use. The Bulldog Belief Project is for the older students to provide real life experience on how being “sober” and tobacco-free has provided a better quality of life for them.
Icing on the CakeAshley Baum, Kelly Bennett, Jeny Herrera, Marlena Huycke, Stephani StocktonBusinesses have many job vacancies which they are having difficulty filling. Indian Hills Community College does not currently have a practical way to explore career pathways to make sure students are genuinely interested in their field of study. Students need hands-on experience to get a feel for what the job will be like in a real-world or simulated setting to understand if they want to choose this career path. Indian Hills Community College wants to
bridge the gap between helping students learn more about a career field and learning more about local businesses to make a more informed decision on their future career. The career tasting came very natural to our team in an effort to bridge this gap. The objective of the career tasting is to connect students with resources to make a more informed decision and offer a 360-degree view of the programs and careers itself. Students in attendance would have access to career and financial advisors, current students, and employers in the field to assist in their decision-making process. The virtual career tasting delivers a highly engaging option for those unable to attend in person.
City of Ottumwa Citizen AcademySamantha Ulin, Angie Mach, Matt Selden, Tony Akridge, Heather Morehouse, Brenda Salter & Elizabeth MartinezThe City of Ottumwa was wanting a place where they can educate and connect citizens to the city leaders and information within the community. The project solution was to create a Citizen Academy where citizens can become better informed, gain trust in the city leadership and possibly become involved in our community’s future.
The Citizen Academy consists of a 6-week course; 1 night a week for approximately 3 hours where citizens will learn all aspects of city government. There will be many different topics and departments covered. This is an opportunity to learn where funding for the City comes from, how projects are decided and learning about new or upcoming projects the City of Ottumwa is working on.
Ottumwa’s Food Truck InitiativeMary Pratt, Carrie Jaeger, Aiddy Phomvisay, Preston Potts, Sadie Waugh, Karla GalindoDevelopment of a city program that supports food truck entrepreneurs, connects existing employers with food truck providers, identifies and provides public support for required utilities and scheduling, promotes pandemic resiliency for food service small businesses, and helps to celebrate the diversity of the community by creating a quality of life and tourism amenity by expanding dining options.2022
Hiring for Diversity – Building InclusionRon Thomas, Ethan Lake, Mauri Martinez, Pla Moo, Sandra McReynolds, and Melanie CourtneyIndian Hills Community College is looking to improve our overall diversity efforts, as diversity lives within our mission. We want to better understand what is most needed or wanted in terms of action by our current and incoming students, employees and community. We need to see and understand where we fall short and how we can do better.2022
Resilient NeighborsShelley Bramschreiber, Bronson Eick, Lindsey Gould, Jessica McCullen, Lorene VilelaTo develop a program where residents can submit work orders for assistance fixing up their homes.2022
Volunteers: The Key to Local Food DistributionJoe Shultz, Jennifer Wilson, Jill Lane, Jessie Mattingly, Sandra Trejo-Wirfs, Kala MulderThe Food Bank of Iowa has a growing need for volunteers to assist in checking, sorting and packing food to be prepared for delivery to our partner agencies. This initiative involves the development of new volunteer recruitment strategies. The project would focus on finding low-cost and innovative ways to raise community awareness about the need for volunteer service at our Ottumwa Volunteer Center.2022
Building a Sustainable Y for the FutureLisa Fritz, Himar Hernandez, Michelle Russell-Graham, Mike SpielerCreating a sustainable 6-12 month plan for the Ottumwa Family YMCA for success after the Covid-19 Pandemic.2021
DEI Intentional Outreach Community ProjectLindsay Cale, Patty Galvan Ramos, Ryan Miller, Phil Rath, Maggie Sauer, Daniel TerrianDevelop strategies engage populations underserved by the United Way of Wapello, focusing on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 2021
IHCC Career Readiness CenterZenna Boyd, Cara Galloway, John Henscheid
Justin Hunter, Michael Kral, Olson Miller
Creation of a Career Readiness Center at IHCC to better prepare students for entering the workforce.2021
Job Corps, Providing the FutureLisa Garrison, Cindy Kurtz-Hopkins, Ashley Lowenberg, Nicolette Proctor, Richard TebbsTo increase enrollment from the Wapello County area students through a partnership with the Ottumwa School District and Job Corp. Identify opportunities to follow up with students who have visited the campus and have expressed an interest as well as identifying an avenue to recruit other students that can benefit from the programs Job Corps offers.2020
Ottumwa High School Attendance PlanKaylea Adkins, Angela Fiscella, Jeff Greiner, Marcie Kamerick, Ashley Stagner Develop strategies to reduce the percentage of chronic absenteeism at the secondary level for Ottumwa Community School District Students.2020
CASA Volunteer RecruitmentDebbie Boyer, Edith Cabrera-Tello, Shelby Beheymer, Lexi Mitchell, Kelli Phillips, Erik SaaranenVisibility campaign for the CASA program to help recruit and retain a diverse population of volunteers in the Ottumwa community.2020
Then Mindfulness ProjectKayla Eckerman, Stacey Harland, Emma Kain, George King, Misty Gillette, Jeremy SkinnerTo address an increase in mental health issues and the lack of qualified mental health professionals in the K-12 system, the team created and adapted curriculum for teaching mindfulness in the classroom by partnering with a teacher at OCSD and Cardinal School District to provide hands-on training to enable teachers to lead their students in mindfulness exercises using the prepared curriculum2019
Millennial Mentoring PartnershipMark Estes, Quincy Keck, A.J. Gevock, Charles Gordon, Travis PeelTo engage and empower youth in need of structure, support and encouragement through mentorship by millennials and specialized curriculum, we will help these individuals grow by:
• Increasing community awareness and engagement
• Providing career and education exploration
• Peer to peer mentorship
• Skill development
Profession MatchmakersJason Eubanks, Todd Fiscella, Samantha Meinders, Michael Miller, David WillNon-profits are challenged with not having resources. The United Way offers a Day of Caring to help provide an opportunity for community members to be of service in a coordinated effort during this specified day. The team identified a way to help United Way to prepare to serve while combining the talents and skillset that the volunteers bring to the table during the Day of Caring. By using a streamlined approach, a day of planning would take place and determine the needs of the organization thus utilizing the strengths of the volunteers.2019
Bulldogs on the MoveKimberlie Hall, Kasandra Humble, Lisa Morgan, Beth RileyIn order to address obesity in Wapello County, the Bulldogs on the Move team created a program with the purpose to engage elementary students in grades 2-5 in physical activity – specifically running – while teaching them about a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and safe exercising practices.2019
IMPACT (Inspire Meaningful Partnerships with Action, Collaboration, & Thoughtfulness)Kari Carter-Adamson, Austin Jones, Cathy Pringle-Maletta, Joe SchultzCreating a collaboration of service organizations that meet quarterly to inform each other of upcoming events and needed support from other organizations.2018
Financial LiteracyMichele Bremer, Andy Fuller, Rachel Kooistra, Cole Rushing, Melyssa Vanderburg, John Van UtrechtTo address the lack of financial knowledge in Ottumwa youth which is often caused by gernational poverty, this project provides engaging and interactive currciulum being adopted into OHS.2018
Kinder'd SpiritsRebecca Ellingson, DeJanee Kletke, Mendy McAdams, Brent Moughler, Garrett RossWe see a growing generational gap with an ever increasing senior population that is losing touch with our community. Our project, Kinder’d Spirits, is designed to bridge the intergenerational divide by promoting the passing of wisdom from our seniors to our youth and supporting the mental wellness of our aging population.2018
Project EmbraceKrista Carter, Cara Crall, Bianca Myers, Christian Ray, Ashleigh Richmond, Jody WilliamsThe statistics for Wapello County show high poverty rates, food scarcity, along with alarming trends in abuse and those not enrolling in furthering education there is a need for family mentoring. Embrace would partner families who need support with volunteers willing to step up and make a difference by mentoring the family unit.2018
Embracing DiversityJatinder Kaur, Rich Kennedy, Rachel Thompson, Lisa Van KlavernCreate, implement and train persons for a Navigator Program for new cultures entering the community. Organizations would essentially house and use the Compass Navigator within their organization to meet the needs of various cultures entering their organization and the community.2017
Food Security NetworkBarbara Lisk, Amy Nossaman, Mark VanVelsor, Michelle Bowers, Alex MorelyA way to network the food security safety net by focusing on 3 things: (1)Automate the manual processes by improving functionality and ease of the systems at the Food Bank of Southern Iowa, (2)Streamline the food pantry process with the Food Bank and its clients, and (3)Incorporate connections with the rest of Wapello County thru Growing Wapello Together.2017
Inspire Youth: Mentoring Our Youth to AchieveJay Green, Andy Maw, Blaire Siems, Steve ZimmermanCreate a mentoring program for the youth of Ottumwa focused on post-secondary education attainment to address the need of middle-skilled labor force as well as the need to help students who "intend" to go to college, but perhaps do not have the knowledge and supports to follow a plan to get there.2017
Step UP! Youth Leadership ExperienceShiloh Seim, Matt Woods, Liz Wilson, Dave DeMerritt, Kathy ReedCreate a program to encourage youth that may otherwise be overlooked for leadership postitions and to promote personal achievement.2017
Attracting Creatives & MakersDavid Camphouse, Trent Sheffield, Cassie StewartDevelop a community center based in the arts to develop a stronger art culture, provide an outlet for local artists, attract and retain young talent and improve the quality of life for all residents of Southeast Iowa.2016
K-3 Literacy ProgramTaren Ferguson, Sean Flattery, Ruston Ford, Moncia McBee, Juanita ZavalaIncrease reading level of 2nd graders who are identified as Strategic Readers in order to (1) address new legislation enforcing standards for reading grade advancement and (2) address that 1 in 4 children currently are not meeting reading proficiency level requirements through and after school reading program2016
It's Not OverAlex Barr, Rose Bean, Lisa Kent, Jody WilliamsIncrease awareness of the homeless population of Ottumwa and improve the lives of the homeless while advocatin for permanent solutions. It's Not Over will address immediate needs by providing sleeping bags that will be distributed through local organization serving this population. Anyone wishing to help purchase sleeping bags ($15 each) can go their GoFundMe page to make a donation at http://www.gofundme.com/23kx6xc82016
Positively OttumwaScott Hallgren, Chris Northcutt, Todd Robinson, Nathan ThordarsonA positive attitude campaign that combines the elements of a "pay it forward" challenge, activities that improve the image and perception of Ottumwa, and promotion & celebration of those activities through their FaceBook page: http://facebook.com/positiveottumwa2016
Trail BlazersDavid Rios, Dr. Elizabeth TiggesImprove health & wellness of our community & its visitors by expanding awareness of the Ottumwa Trails system, improving cleanliness, improving functionality, and expanding ways in which the public can donate to the Trails. This will be accomplished through physical signage and information, online donation through PayPal on signage and digital information, and provide doggie clean-up dispenseries.2016
Bountiful BucketsSheila Fetter, Branndi Krausharr, Brandon GeeAssist the elderly with access to fresh produce that in turn provides valuable lessons to students2015
Bulldogs Giving BackStacy Wasson, Leila Disburg, Dawn Benedict, Ashley Noreuil Instill good citizenship and behaviors in Evans Middle School students by rewarding them for volunteerism and good citizenship. (Prequel to Silver Cord)2015
CYAN: Community Youth Activity NetworkJill Budde, David Howard, Ashley Johnson, Wesley Krenz, Eric Sundermeyer, Michael WrightIncrease youth activity (specifically for 6th graders) through a network of adult volunteers and going to community functions with the ultimate goal to improve Iowa Youth Survey results2015
Ottumwa CaresShane Molyneux, Brent Baker, Allie GardnerBringing together a single point of services of the "safety net" electronically so that they can be easily accessible for a one-stop shop type experience.2015
The Art CollectiveBarbara Sandstrom, Amanda McBirnie Increase art culture in the community through an Art Collective where art is inventoried and also displayed at different businesses2015
Empowering Wapello County Young WomenLexie Farrell, Nichole Chickering, Sonja Ferrell, Mark ClarkWapello Co has high rate of teen pregnancy. Want to increase community awareness about the effects of those statistics and create a plan to address the issue2014
Ottumwa FirstSaunja Townsend, Ali Wilson, Neal Abbott, Barb Allison, Heather Ware, Davis EidahlBuild support for Ottumwa businesses through a mutlifaceted campaign2014
Ottumwa UnitedDoug Anderson, Suzie Morrison, Russ Herschleb, Schuyler BlackImprove community pride by establishing Neighborhood Associations2014
YOLO: Youth Organization for Leadership OpportunitiesJames DeBurg, Rachel Dilling, Tish Reck, Jaque Humphrey, Nate Miller, Andrew PayneIncrease the senior completion rate of the Silver cord Program at the Ottumwa High School to 25 % by 20202014
Food InsecurityJoel Pedersen, Jon Disburg, Madonna Fisher, Marie Zoromski, Yvonne Baldwin-GreeneUnderstand food distribution to the food insecure2013
Business AdvocateKelly Genners, Cathy Penniston, Natalie Bolin, Tyler BaumgartenThere are many resources for new and continuing businsesses, however, there isn't a centralized point for a business person. Proposed a Business Development 2013
Sports in OttumwaJane Martin, Lori Reeves, Donna JefferyAssess current athletic fields and make recommendations for change2013
Welcome to OttumwaAbby Conrad, Linda Whittington, Megan Framke, Dave Humburg, Lisa MaizeDevelop a systematic approach where ALL new comers to Ottumwa are welcomed and receive information that is relevant to them2013
Volunteers: The Key to Local Food DistributionJoe Shultz, Jennifer Wilson, Jill Lane, Jessie Mattingly, Sandra Trejo-Wirfs, Kala Mulder The Food Bank of Iowa-Ottumwa location offers an important resource to a 55 county service area. Each dollar spent equates to four meals for Iowa families, children, and elderly populations. Ottumwa’s Distribution Center is a “best kept secret '' in southern Iowa. To get the word out, the Food Bank must use tools to market locally the effects this non-profit organization has on reducing food insecurities for Iowan’s. The team enjoyed working on the project, giving back through service, and collaboratively finding creative ways to increase getting the word out about the volunteer need. The team believes through the use of social media, expanding partnerships and utilizing the current benefactors the increase of volunteers will be at least twofold per shift. 2022
Food Truck InitiativeKarla Galindo, Carrie Jaeger, Preston Potts, Mary
Pratt, Sadie Waugh
To enhance visibility and accessibility for food truck vendors the team created a
public communication platform that provides the necessary information for vendors and
customers. This platform will also help vendors to be in compliance with state and local
Hiring for Diversity - Building InclusionEthan Lake, Ron Thomas, Sandra McReynolds, Mauri Martinez, Pla Moo, and Melanie Courtney IHCC recognizes that its current employee population does not match its student body in terms of diversity, socioeconomic status, and family college-going history. The team created the structure for an on-campus Diversity Council will consist of students, faculty, staff, and administration and be comprised of components from across the entire organizational footprint. The IHCC Diversity Council will reflect and amplify our diversity in order to create a community and culture in which all people are supported, welcomed, and valued. The IHCC Diversity Council will advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and awareness on campus, as well as help to ensure the integration of diversity into all aspects across the entire organization. The Council structure will include a chair or co-chairs, vice-chair, and treasurer which will comprise the executive board. The Council membership will be open to students, faculty, and staff from across the entire college’s region, with no restrictions on membership. Executive board positions will be held for one academic year, and be selected by a vote of the Diversity Council. 2022
Resilient NeighborsBronson Eick, Shelley Bramschreiber, Jessica McCullen, Lindsey Gould, Lorene VilelaResilient Communities of Wapello County has identified that there are families who do not have safe and appropriate housing. These families may have financial restraints, may not be physically able, and/or do not have skill sets to make necessary upkeep/maintenance on their homes. Resilient Neighbors, developed a network of community volunteers and referral sources to assist with housing needs in our community.2022