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South Bend woman wins Youth Worker of the Year award

Originally from Alaska, Christy Burgess brought her love of Shakespeare to the Hoosier state

“I first started here in 2008 and I was really fortunate to meet the youth program director, and we dreamed together and we came up with the idea for the Robinson Shakespeare Company,” said Christy Burgess.

She’s the director of the Shakespeare outreach initiative, part of South Bend’s Robinson Community Learning Center.

She teaches the youth at the center and Saint Joseph county schools about the legendary playwright and acting.

“There’s something special about doing drama integration in the classroom,” Burgess said. “Unfortunately right now we really value test takers and people who can take tests well and look at that as a pinnacle of education, but drama integration is really taking what the child thinks and making it active,” Burgess said.

Her hard work and dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed. A friend, who is also a colleague, decided to nominate her for an award.

“The D. Susan Wisely Youth Worker of the Year award recognizes someone who’s made an impact in children’s lives in Indiana,” Burgess said.

Her colleagues thought she was the perfect fit. So they wrote letters about why she deserved to be recognized.

As part of the award, burgess receives a $2500 cash prize to be used for her program.

She couldn’t feel more grateful for being awarded just for doing something that she loves.

“I feel so lucky and so blessed to do what I do and work with these amazing young people in South Bend,” Burgess said.

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