Karen Hinshaw, a Health and Human Sciences Educator for Purdue Extension in Huntington County, Indiana, is using “Bridges” constructs to enact sustainable change in her community.

Purdue recently outlined her efforts in the quarterly release of its Agricultures Magazine. Hinshaw sites the teachings of Dr. Ruby Payne, co-author of Bridges Out of Poverty, as a critical component of her continuing attempts to rebuild the Rust Belt.

Indiana and its neighboring states have struggled since the Great Recession. Unemployment, exacerbated by a decline in manufacturing jobs, has skyrocketed in the years following the economic decline. One in six residents of the Hoosier State now live in Poverty.

The economics of the situation are critical, but there’s more to the story. Per Hinshaw, “Rebuilding the financial stability of Hoosier families does not hinge solely on providing economic opportunities. The key to sustainable change, she says, is helping people in poverty identify and access the resources they need. That philosophy is what keeps the door to her Purdue Extension office in downtown Huntington open.”

Hinshaw now co-leads a Getting Ahead class in the Huntington Community. See the full article and accompanying YouTube video here.