Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State student receives statewide recognition for community commitment

March 27, 2015

Indiana Campus Compact has recognized Indiana State University student Trinere Bacon with its 2015 Richard J. Wood Student Community Commitment Award.

The award, presented Thursday during the organization's annual Service Engagement Summit in Indianapolis, recognizes students at member campuses who demonstrate outstanding commitment to community engagement.

Bacon's commitment has been extraordinary. The senior human development and family studies major from Springfield, Ill. has racked up more than 3,500 hours of community service during her time at Indiana State. A graduate of Lanphier High School, Bacon is the daughter of Larry and Christa Austin.

"Trinere is an extremely dedicated student assistant and AmeriCorps member," Jennifer Christian, AmeriCorps program director at Indiana State, wrote in nominating Bacon for the award. "Trinere goes above and beyond at everything she does, truly setting a tone and an example for those around her."

Bacon has served Terre Haute area youth via Vigo County Head Start and the 14th and Chestnut Community Center. Her duties at Head Start included assisting the lead teacher, creating and planning family night activities and providing one-on-one assistance to children. At 14th and Chestnut, Bacon mentored 30 girls during the academic year and 60 during the summer.

"Trinere's smiling personality lights up the center when she arrives," William Felts, executive director of the14th and Chestnut Community Center, wrote in support of Bacon's nomination. "She has such a positive outlook on life that it causes others to see the brighter side as well."

Serving as a positive role model to the youth and families of Terre Haute "can impact more than a person can imagine," Bacon said. "My duties at the center do not consist of watching the children play games or coloring a picture, but building a strong relationship with each and every child. My goal is to help them to become better individuals."

Bacon has volunteered during Indiana State's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, spring and fall Donaghy Days and Veterans Day and has served students at Terre Haute elementary schools and at Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall. Bacon has also participated in Alternative Spring Break, assisting at a wildlife sanctuary and serving as a student leader this year in a trip to Costa Rica where she and other Indiana State students assisted at an orphanage.

By giving back, Bacon said, she has not only made the community better but made herself better, as well. She is completing a minor in early childhood education and has accepted a teaching position through Teach for America, a national corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach and effect change in under-resourced urban and rural public schools.

"I remind (students) all the time that there are going to be difficulties throughout your entire life, but it is up to you to keep moving forward," she said. "A teacher is someone who is passionate and dedicated about seeing children succeed in life by having equal opportunities of learning and going the extra mile for their students no matter what the situation may be." Bacon said she greatly values Gandhi's quote, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

"It is something that I live by every day. In order to see a difference in the world, in starts with you," she said.

Photo: - Indiana State University senior Trinere Bacon (center) poses with Jennifer Christian, the university's AmeriCorps director, and William Felts, executive director of the 14th and Chestnut Community Center in Terre Haute, at the Indiana Campus Compact Service Engagement Summit March 26, 2015 in Indianapolis.

Contact: Jennifer Christian, AmeriCorps Program director, Center for Community Engagement, Indiana State University, 812-237-7900 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or


Story Highlights

Indiana Campus Compact has recognized Indiana State University senior Trinere Bacon with its 2015 Richard J. Wood Student Community Commitment Award. While at Indiana State, Bacon has completed more than 3,500 hours of community service.

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