Women in Leadership at Lafayette Urban Ministry
As Women in History Month winds down, LUM would like to showcase one of our superstar volunteer leaders, Joan Low. She is the current president on the LUM Board of Directors. Joan has been a volunteer leader with LUM since 2005 when she was selected to represent her church on the LUM board. Since then, Joan has followed her passion and used her expertise to impact a variety of areas at LUM.
Joan was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Her mother passed away when she and her brother were young. When Joan was 10, her father married a widowed woman with four children, and they all moved to California. Joan attended college in New England until she found her church and transferred to Brigham Young University, where she double majored in English & German.
After her first year, Joan traveled to Germany for her mission work. It was here that she met her future husband and fellow BYU student, Phil. Once back on campus in Provo, Utah, Joan & Phil began dating and were married a year later. They both earned their degrees from BYU and while Phil continued his education, they started a family.
Joan found her way to West Lafayette when her husband Phil, who grew up in West Lafayette, accepted a position at Purdue University. As their children began leaving home, Joan became certified to teach and taught German for several years at Southmont Jr. & Sr. High School, Harrison High School, West Lafayette High School, and Delphi Community Schools. Joan & Phil have five grown children and 17 grandchildren. Within their church, they teach adult Sunday school.
With LUM, Joan has done it all. With the LUM Board she is the president this year, was the president in 2014 and has served as the secretary for five separate terms, including last year. For over 11 years, Joan has followed her passion for teaching and assisted with the LUM After School Program, first as a teacher’s aide and more recently as a bus driver. She is also the “meal planner & chef” for the annual LUM Follies fundraising event for the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.
Joan is driven yet humble — a true servant leader, who steps up and leads when needed but is also content doing the day-to-day work at LUM, “as long as the work is meaningful.”
“I enjoy serving and will lead if needed or called upon. I appreciate the opportunity to work with the children and families in our community, especially through the After School Program.
It is as much of a gift to my soul as a gift to others.”
She often cites her family and her church for inspiring her
“to find ways to help in moral and Christian ways balancing doctrine with common sense.”
LUM has a long history of women leading and serving through the Board of Directors. Joan is a shining example of the contribution individuals make in our community through the work of Lafayette Urban Ministry. LUM and the children and families in this county are blessed to have someone like Joan as their advocate, leader, and servant.