June 2022

June 2022


Freedom comes at a cost. The freedom and liberty that you and I have to travel wherever we please, make choices for ourselves and our families, and to think, say, and write whatever we like are all freedoms that we enjoy today because yesterday men and women willingly sacrificed their lives. On this upcoming 4th of July holiday, let’s remember these heroes and our freedom that was paid for by others. And let’s commit to making sure the freedoms that have been bought at such a high price are fully accessible to all Americans today, tomorrow, and each day.

There are many ways to pay for the price of freedom. Some members of our community have paid for freedom with their lives, being murdered by their abuser as they sought to escape violence. Some pay the price that comes with living with substance use disorder, possibly having lost a job, the trust of their family and friends, or the loss of the custody of their children. Many individuals who have survived sexual abuse suffer in silence, feeling ashamed because they believe they are to blame for being sexually assaulted. Domestic and sexual abuse is NEVER the victim’s fault, but it is common for survivors to think that it was. And addiction often begins because the individual has experienced trauma in their life and consciously, or subconsciously, seeks to self-medicate in attempt to escape the emotional pain.

At YWCA Northeast Indiana, we strive to to help individuals reclaim their lost freedom. We provide a 24/7 domestic violence shelter called Bonnie’s House. For those that don’t need to stay at Bonnie’s House, we offer community-based advocates who help individuals connect to resources, file protection orders, and to begin to feel safe. For those struggling to heal from the trauma of sexual abuse, we provide counseling and advocacy. We also provide youth and adults the opportunity to learn about ways to keep themselves safe through our community education program. There is no cost to utilize these YWCA Northeast Indiana services. With us, freedom is free.

We also provide compassionate, residential care for women struggling with substance use disorder. Our addiction recovery program is an intensive residential treatment program in a sub-acute medical facility for women 18 years and older and is one of few programs that accepts children with their moms into the recovery program. We also offer services by trauma-informed staff for the children that are staying with their moms in our facility.

The individuals we serve come to us having paid a huge price for their freedom. They have lost their ability to feel secure, to trust, and to feel at peace. Our mission is help them find that freedom once again. One program that helps women become financially free is our Dress for Success program, which is highlighted in our Program Spotlight. You will get to meet our program coordinator for Dress for Success, Marty Kocks-Hamrick, in Dash of Persimmon. Information about our recent 2nd annual Dress for Success Fashion Week virtual fundraising event can be read in our Special Shoutout section. Thank you to White House Black Market for being our apparel partner, and to our sponsors, models, and all those who voted to raise dollars for this program! Congrats to Micayla Schmidt for raising the most money through votes!

Please see who we featured in our Women’s Empowerment campaign this past month below, and learn more about our featured POP star, Malak Heiny.

Lastly, SAVE THE DATE for our 26th annual Circle fundraising event! This will be an experience to remember! This luncheon is scheduled for October 20, 2022, 11:30 – 1:00 p.m. at the Mirro Center.

To all of our supporters, we thank you for your ongoing support. Your financial support enables us to provide free services to our clients so that there will be no additional cost to them. They have already paid dearly for their freedom. Together, let’s ring the bell of freedom so loudly that it rocks the bell tower!!


YWCA Northeast Indiana’s program, Dress for Success Fort Wayne, suits economically disadvantaged female clients from 53 referral agencies in Fort Wayne for job interviews or court appearances. If the client gets the job, they receive five additional outfits!

The Career Center helps with establishing resumes, writing cover letters, searching for jobs, as well as improving interview skills. Our new boutique and career center is located at our new facility, The Hefner Center, at 1313 West Washington Center Road, and is available to receive clothing donations by arranging an appointment through Marty.

We are always open to new referral agencies in northeast Indiana! For more details, please contact Marty Kocks-Hamrick, Dress for Success Coordinator via email with any questions or to schedule an appointment for a suiting, resume help, how to donate, and more.


In this year-long awareness campaign, local men and woman join together in solidarity to tell stories of how they help empower women. Stay up to date with our weekly featured community members here and learn more about YWCA Northeast Indiana here.

Erika Halliwill, Sofia Rosales-Scatena, Gail Doran, and Stacey Smith


“Be the woman that straightens another woman’s crown.”

“As the mother of two beautiful daughters, I have always believed that it is important for them to be strong and independent. It is not an easy world out there, but I know that they can do anything they set their minds to, and I am here to help support them. I take this job very seriously, and my girls know that I always have their back and that I work hard to straighten their crowns when they need me. As Oprah said, “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”
-Erika Halliwill (Market Director-Wealth, Executive Director, Chase Private Client and J. P. Morgan)

“When it comes to any woman’s success, I’m all in. There is no jealousy, no hate, no competition. If you get ahead of me, bravo, I’ll cheer for you and help you if I can. I want us all to succeed. Just remember though, when you get there, turn around and help another woman. At one time, not long ago, she was you.”
-Sofia Rosales-Scatena (Captain, SE Quadrant, Fort Wayne Police Department)

“I straighten other women’s crowns every day by making sure they don’t have to choose between success in their career and being a mom, wife, daughter or partner.”
-Gail Doran (EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana)

As a woman business owner, I’ve always found myself in environments that aren’t always comfortable. While I worked at the Kennedy Space Center, it wasn’t unusual for me to be the only woman in the room, and being seen as a secretary and not a seasoned project manager. That didn’t change when I started my business. So, supporting women entrepreneurs is so important to me.  There are more doors open to women business owners but behind those doors are still many hidden prejudices. To all those women business owners out there, you’re not alone! Wear that “crown” with pride. I’m always here to help.”
Stacey Smith (President/CEO, PQC Works, PQC Trains & Windrose Learning; YWCA Northeast Indiana Board Member)

Stephen Jarrell, John Urbahns, Darius D. Darling, and Don Cates


“Men of quality support women’s equality.”

“The empowerment of women is wonderful, but we really need to empower men to challenge prevailing norms and change their behaviors towards women.”
-Stephen Jarrell LCSW, LCAC, ACSW (Executive Director, Headwaters Counseling; Featured Expert in YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Dash of Persimmon)

“Equality doesn’t just happen; as leaders, it is on each of us to take action and responsibility. We must set an example and create the conditions and expectations of equality in our own organizations. I’m proud that 75% of our executive team here at Greater Fort Wayne Inc. are women. As we build a nationally recognized economy in Allen County, rest assured that women have a prominent seat at the table. Women’s equality is something that I think about every day—making sure that all women, including my own two daughters, have every opportunity to succeed.”
-John Urbahns (President/CEO, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.)

“The fight for women’s equality is one that started far before my time, but I choose to pick up the mantle to insure that this will not be an issue that my children will have to fight for long after I am gone. Women deserve to have equality in all areas of life: work, community, church, politics and more. The more we, as men, fight for women’s equality, the less of a fight there will be against women’s equality.”
-Darius D. Darling (HR Generalist, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company; YWCA Northeast Indiana Board Member)

“As CEO of 3Rivers FCU, where 65% of Team3 (3 Rivers FCU employees) and half of the Leadership Team are female, I learn everyday what it is like to lead with women who freely contribute to any topic or issue. I recently read “Turn the Ship Around” by David Marquet where he said, “Empowerment can only occur with competence and clarity”. If we want to engage and support, we should focus on emancipation by recognizing the talents and unique insights (of women) to decide for themselves by setting them free in their entirety. We must be cognizant that to support equality we have to acknowledge inequality, and to empower others we must first understand who has the power and who doesn’t. If I am to be someone that makes a difference, I must be aware of the power I hold and utilize that privilege to better support setting people free. We must watch for our biases and look to intentionally provide equity opportunities, not just equal opportunities. In my mentorship or allyship, I ask, “Am I doing the same for men and women or do I provide more for women?” I fail in that more times than not, but I must recognize that failure and intentionally adjust my behavior and actions.”
-Don Cates (Chief Executive Officer, 3 Rivers Federal Credit Union)

Check out our website to see who else has been featured so far this year!


Dash of Persimmon offers you expert information on a variety of topics every month. We hope you will find this information valuable. May a Dash of Persimmon sweeten your cup!

Marty Kocks-Hamrick


In this Dash of Persimmon Video Series, we are featuring our very own Dress for Success Coordinator, Marty Kocks-Hamrick. Marty got involved with Dress for Success in January 2015, when it was affiliated with the Women’s Bureau. YWCA Northeast Indiana absorbed the Dress for Success program in 2018, and she continues to make a positive impact in the lives of women each and every day. We love having her on the YWCA team!!

Learn more here.

Thank you to Marty Kocks-Hamrick for being our featured Dash of Persimmon expert!



YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Power of Persimmon (POP) initiative honors empowered women who diligently seek to help empower other women through mentorship, networking, and education. Kudos to these remarkable women!

Malak Heiny


Malak Heiny was recently named the City Attorney for the City of Fort Wayne and serves on the boards for Amani Family Services and the Allen County Bar Association. A tidbit of advice she shares is that “the road to success isn’t always easy or straightforward. There are unexpected turns, stops, and detours. Lean on your support systems to lift you up and reciprocate this for other women when you are in a position to do so.” Learn more about Malak here.

Stay tuned to upcoming newsletters to see who will be featured next in Power of Persimmon! Thank you to our media partner, glo magazine.


YWCA Northeast Indiana Staff Anniversaries

What is Persimmon Pride?
 Persimmon is the orange Pantone color of our YWCA brand. Internally, #PersimmonPride is more than a hashtag or mantra. It is a belief in the impact the YWCA team is having in our community. It’s more than a saying. It is who we are and what we believe in.



“I love the mission of YWCA. The fact that I get to spend everyday helping give a voice and a listening ear to those who have been silenced. Getting to serve the community with other talented and passionate women.”
Jennifer (Director of Empowerment)

“I choose to work at YWCA because it allows me the opportunity to be a part of a mission dedicated to creating significant positive change in the lives of others.”
Aisha (Director of Residential Services)

“I applied to YWCA because I am passionate about the mission YWCA represents; two years later, I stay at YWCA for both the mission and the people. From my own team to other coworkers around the agency, I love working with so many inspiring, passionate, and amazing people every day!”
Hannah (Development Coordinator)

“I choose to work at YWCA because my values align with our mission. I find so much joy and fulfillment in serving the community alongside our dedicated team.”
Emily (Client Care Technician – Front Desk)

The passion from our staff, in addition to the unending support from our community, is what makes our work possible. Thank you to our staff and the northeast Indiana community for your support!


Circle 2022

Save the Date: October 20, 2022

In 2022 so far, we are experiencing a 24% increase in crisis calls32% increase in community client services, and a 20% increase in shelter services. Levels of service in 2022 are set to exceed 2021. The high level of need makes your support at Circle more critical than ever! Join us to raise funds to meet the need and participate in an exciting, unique event.

While our fundraising event includes heart-felt messages about domestic violence, it also delivers a memorable themed experience. With hundreds of women and men coming together, this event is also a great networking opportunity.

If you are an empowered leader wanting to make a difference in the lives of individuals who are trying to gain their freedom from domestic violence, please email Patty Dunn about becoming a table captain. Table captains purchase a ticket and inspire 7 other empowered leaders to do the same, filling a table of eight. If you would like to co-captain with another person, that is great as well! This is a crucial role in helping us raise life-saving dollars to help serve the rising community need.


Peggy Hobbs Service Award

Each year at our Circle event, we announce the winner of our Peggy Hobbs Service Award. This started in 1977, and the intent of the award is to honor a woman of outstanding personal development, achievement, and dedication as a volunteer. YWCA Northeast Indiana continues Peggy’s legacy by presenting the Peggy Hobbs Service Award to a community volunteer who embodies the passion, commitment, and dedication of Peggy Hobbs.

Do you know someone who:

  • Actively promotes awareness of diversity issues in our community
  • Encourages the empowerment of women
  • Exhibits dedication, passion, and commitment to volunteering
  • Pursues personal development opportunities to assure positive impact as a volunteer

Learn more, see past recipients, and nominate someone for our 2022 award here.


Stephanie Veith

After wrapping up our 2nd annual Dress for Success Fashion Week, we want to thank Stephanie Veith, Store Manager at White House Black Market, located at Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center, for her help and generosity in partnering with YWCA. Dress for Success Fashion Week would also not have been possible without Marty Kocks-Hamrick, YWCA’s Dress for Success Coordinator, and her Dress for Success committee for helping plan and coordinate this event.


Pictured: Marty Kocks-Hamrick (Dress for Success Coordinator, YWCA Northeast Indiana) and Stephanie Veith (Store Manager, White House Black Market)



Congratulations to our winning model, Micayla Schmidt! Her outfit was a show-stopper!

DFS Fashion Week raised $8,355 for our Dress for Success Program, which you can learn more about in the “Program Spotlight” section of this newsletter. Shop this Comfort Stretch Sheath Dress, WHBM Signature Blazer, and other styles at White House Black Market’s website.




Goldstein Family Scholarship Program


The goal of the Goldstein Family Scholarship Program is to help female survivors of domestic violence improve their self-sufficiency and quality of life by completing higher education. The scholarship fund provides financial support for tuition, books, rent, utilities, and childcare. Learn more here.


If you would like to financially support YWCA Northeast Indiana, you can access our donation page by following this link.