Category Archives: LUM Staff

Meet Allie – the new LUM “Seasonal” Staff Member

Allie Parker Community Thanksgiving & Jubilee Christmas, program director

Allie Parker grew up in West Lafayette and now lives in Lafayette. She graduated from West Lafayette High School and earned a BA in Anthropology and a BS in Arts Administration from Butler University, Indianapolis.

At LUM, Allie will direct both the Community Thanksgiving Feast and Jubilee Christmas. She volunteered with both programs in the past with her family and through her church, Central Presbyterian, Lafayette. In addition to LUM, Allies has volunteered with the Starfish Initiative as a mentor for academically promising youth and as a member of the Presbyterian Youth Triennium Administration Planning Team.

Allie is inspired by the Bible passage,

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

It is this verse that drew her to this position and will give her the most pride in her work with LUM. Allie shared that she is most excited about uplifting individuals, families and children through the Community Thanksgiving Feast and Jubilee Christmas, while giving others the opportunity to assist their neighbors, engage in their community and make a positive difference. LUM is fortunate to have someone with Allie’s passion and experience leading these two important programs.

Donations and volunteers are needed for the Community Thanksgiving Feast and Jubilee Christmas. Sign up today — and share with others.

LUM Outreach – Latino Festival & More

Promoting LUM Opportunities & Services

Outreach is an important part of the mission of Lafayette Urban Ministry. Members of the LUM professional staff actively seek opportunities to promote LUM services, recruit volunteers, and educate people on issues relating to poverty, hunger and homelessness. Directors of the various LUM programs are eager to raise awareness of LUM services, are well-informed on social and economic issues, and would like to help raise awareness in the local community on critical issues affecting low-income families.
Recently, LUM has been attending various community events, church services and group meetings. Among these are as follows:

  • Events
    • Tippecanoe Latino Festival – Columbian Park
    • Community Service Fair – Purdue College of Education
    • First Friday – Downtown Lafayette
    • Greater Lafayette Indiana Black Expo “Car-nival”
    • We’re Out Celebration – First United Methodist Church
    • Hunger Hike Kickoff Event – Riehle Plaza
  • Civic Groups/Agencies – Recovery Cafe, Noon Optimists, University Place
  • Churches – Living Truth of Christ Church and Memorial Presbyterian Church of Dayton

Staff members are available to speak or set up an information table for churches, civic organization, agencies, community events, and educational groups. To make arrangements for a presentation or event, call or email LUM (765-423-2691 |

Meet Sarah – New LUM Intern

Sarah A. Warner, LUM Intern through the IU School of Social Work

Sarah A. Warner is the new LUM intern for the Fall semester. She was born in California, grew up in Crawfordsville, IN and now lives in Lafayette with her boyfriend, Coleman, and their yellow-lab-mix, Moko.

Sarah graduated from Crawfordsville High School and earned her bachelors from the University of Evansville in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She is currently completing her internship with LUM as a part of her MSW program at the IU School of Social Work. When she graduates in December 2022, she plans on becoming a licensed social worker and working with children in a school setting or with a nonprofit agency.

At LUM, Sarah will be working with children in the After School Program, as well as assisting the Immigration Clinic, Thanksgiving Dinner, Emergency Shelter, Port of Hope event, and Jubilee Christmas. Sarah shared that,

“I’m excited to explore the many aspects of social work offered at Lafayette Urban Ministry. I love that I will be able to serve the community at the same time as learning about working with people in need.”

In her free time, Sarah enjoys travelling and exploring other cultures, cooking and baking, listening to podcasts, crocheting (a new skill she learned during the pandemic), and outdoor adventures with Moko.

LUM is fortunate to have someone with Sarah’s energy and passion join the LUM staff as an intern. Join us in welcoming her.

Meet Yanina – New LUM Staff Member

Yanina Gomez Szyszko, Immigration Clinic Asst. Director

Yanina Gomez Szyszko is the new Assistant Director of the LUM Immigration Clinic (reporting to the Immigration Clinic director). She grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has lived in Copenhagen, Denmark and Valencia, Spain, and currently lives in Lafayette, Indiana.

Yanina graduated from Escuela Cristiana Evangélica Argentina (E.C.E.A) in Buenos Aires, has studied Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires; and is currently enrolled at the International University of Valencia pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her goal is to complete a Master of Clinical Psychology by 2025. Yanina speaks both English and Spanish. She is an avid volunteer working with agencies in Denmark, Spain, Argentina, Poland and the United States (Lafayette) that focus on children, nutrition, fair labor, homelessness, food distribution and waste, elderly and animals.

Yanina is inspired by the Bible passage,

“Let everything you do be done in love,”

1 Corinthians 16:14.

She is also driven by the courage and determination of her Polish ancestors who migrated to Argentina during the interwar period — especially her great-grandmother, Melanja. Each in their own way, her family members, overcame the challenges of migrating with children while pregnant, being pioneers in their careers, and successfully raising their children, to be grateful, with a positive attitude, and have faith and trust in God.

She shared that,

“I hope in my new role with LUM to use my skills and experience to help in all aspects of the Immigration Clinic. It will be personally enriching to have a positive impact on the immigrant families in our community.”

Yanina is excited to “be a part of a team with passionate, determined people who have a great love for others.”

In her free time, Yanina enjoys travelling and exploring other cultures. She has visited more than 30 countries on four continents, so far. Yanina has studied new languages, most recently Polish, Danish and French. She is also an administrator with the Polish Genealogy Group in Argentina and the organizer of an international book club hosted in four cities: Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Warsaw, and Barcelona; and plans on starting a book club in Lafayette soon.

LUM is fortunate to have someone with Yanina’s experience and passion join the Immigration Clinic staff. Join us in welcoming her.

Meet the LUM Summer Child Care Team

Introducing the 5th Quarter Summer Teachers

LUM is excited to introduce the dynamic and talented team of teachers for the 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program, pictured above with Kristi Hogue, LUM youth programs director.
During the LUM Summer of Service, please consider volunteering with the 5th Quarter team as a Teacher’s Aide. Teacher’s Aides are needed each weekday (7 a.m.-6 p.m.) to support the LUM director and teachers. Volunteers assist in teaching & tutoring, reading, recreational activities, meals & snacks and more. Teacher’s Aides must enjoy working with children and have experience helping children (K – 6th grade) achieve academically and socially. If you’re interested or need more information, click HERE — or email or call Kristi Hogue ( | 765-423-2691).

If you wish to support the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program — you may make a monetary donationsponsor a field/study trip and/or donate snacks and supplies. For more information, click HERE or email Kristi Hogue at

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5th Quarter Summer Learning Program

LUM is Hiring – Shelter Security Staff

Part-time | Potential Openings | Paid – $15 per Hour

LUM has a potential opening with the Security Staff with the LUM Emergency Shelter. Details are as follows:

Type: Part-time, paid
Hours: 11-20 hours per week
Shifts: 8 p.m. to midnight -or- midnight to 7 a.m.
Pay: $15.00 per hour

  • Maintains safety of guests, volunteers and premises, a team environment modeling mutual respect, and a professional and safe environment
  • Ensures compliance with Shelter Rules
  • Monitors arrival, departure, activity within shelter, activity outside within three blocks of the building
  • Disciplines guests who are noncompliant; refers guests to police when necessary
  • Submits written reports of daily activities and incidents

If interested — apply online HERE — or email a resume with cover letter to the LUM Emergency Shelter director ( | 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901).

Congrats to Mady Kirts Lester, LUM Teacher

IU 2021 Graduate, Bachelor of Social Work

Mady Lester, right, with Carleigh Bennett, LUM teacher

The LUM staff members gathered last week to celebrate Mady Lester.

Mady just graduated from the Indiana University School of Social Work earning a bachelor of social work. Since Mady started at LUM in 2018 as an intern, she has earned an associates degree, gotten married, and earned a BSW. This fall, Mady will begin work on her Master of Social Work, also from IU.

LUM is thrilled to announce that Mady will continue to be a LUM teacher this summer with the 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program. LUM is fortunate to have someone with Mady’s experience, education and passion working with the students in the LUM Youth Programs. Please join us in congratulating her on her achievements and thanking her for her service to the children in our community through her work with LUM.

New Office Manager/Volunteer Coordinator

Meet Terri Anderson – New LUM Team Member

Terri Anderson is the new office manager/volunteer coordinator. Terri grew up in Northbrook, IL, and now lives in West Lafayette with her husband, Jason, their two college-aged children and their rescue-pets: Scooby the dog & Bowtie the cat. Due to Jason’s career with the US Army, they have lived in five states and Germany but have returned to West Lafayette three times, in 2004, 2013 and 2019. Terri earned her Master’s degree in Speech Communication from Eastern Illinois University, where she met Jason, and has taught Communication Studies at local community colleges for 16 years. Terri’s children attended West Lafayette Jr./Sr. High School. Her daughter is now in her first year at IU School of Medicine, and her son is currently taking classes at Ivy Tech Community College.  

Terri believes in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and is inspired by the quote, “Carpe diem,” but is most inspired by the life and work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Her favorite quote from Mother Teresa is, “Faith in Action is Love – and Love in Action is Service.” Faith, family, love, friendship and service are important to Terri, and what led her to joining the LUM Team.

As a military family, Terri and her family have found opportunities to volunteer in the schools, at food pantries and with food drives, Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas programs. Terri shared that, “Over the years, I have seen how volunteering, especially along with my children, has taught us so much about our community and brought us closer together as a family. I am excited to give this same experience to others through the work at LUM.” In her free time, Terri enjoys spending time with her family, singing, sewing, crafting, baking, watching movies, playing board games, and doing small acts of kindness for others. 

Please join us in welcoming Terri Anderson as the new Office Manager/Volunteer Coordinator. LUM is lucky to have someone with her experience and passion joining the team.

LUM Tax Volunteers Celebrate 2021 Success

Volunteers Gather for Celebratory Picnic Lunch

The volunteers and staff who have been working with this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program met for a picnic lunch in Happy Hallow Park (West Lafayette) to celebrate another successful year. Some interesting statistics about this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program are as follows:

  • 242 – Income Tax Returns filed
  • $338,856 – Federal Refunds
  • $34,320 – State Refunds
  • $373,176 – Total Refunds
  • $21,176 – Average Adjusted Gross Income
  • $68,016 – Federal – Earned Income Credit
  • $5,048 – State – Earned Income Credit
  • $73,064 – Total in Earned Income Credit

Join us in thanking the LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers picture above as follows — Standing L to R: Joan Marshall, KG & Bharathi Raghothama, Barb Sharkey, Kathy Hicks, Carol Robicheaux, Rob Patrick, Josh Prokopy (director); Seated: Tricia Sembroski, Ann Pellegrino & Andrea Schmidt; Not pictured: James Brinkley, Connie Decker, Ai Ai Lau, Karen Marty, Nina Morgan, Patti O’Callaghan & Ron Smith.

If you wish to make a donation to the LUM Tax Assistance Program, click HERE.

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Tax Assistance Program