Meet our Work IndyEast VISTA

Bailey Shannon is our IndyEast Promise Zone’s Work VISTA. She will be helping to turn the Promise Zone into a neighborhood bustling with the activity of business, industries, anBailey for blogd commerce with living wage jobs for residents. Here are her answers to my questions:

Did you grow up in Indy?

I partially grew up (ages 12-18) in a suburb on the northeast side Indianapolis, Fishers.  While attending college at Ball State University I had a summer internship that was on the Near Eastside of Indy at Growing Places Indy. I fell in love with this part of Indianapolis that summer and knew I wanted to move to the Near Eastside upon graduation – and I did!


What do you love about Indy?

I love that Indy is small enough to be familial and large enough to be explored every day.


What concerns you in or about Indy and the way it is growing?

I see a lot of commercial development and redevelopment that could potentially displace people and local businesses who have been there a long time. I would hate for that to happen.


What attracted you to your specific VISTA position?

While community development and revitalization is intersectional and multi-dimensional, I believe that a person’s ability to work and earn a living wage is crucial in transforming a person’s life, a family, an economy, and a community. I also wanted to acquire knowledge and skills in a (personally) somewhat unfamiliar area of community development.


What is something related to your specific VISTA position that you are really excited about or looking forward to doing?

I am excited to see people using their gifts and talents, skills and knowledge, passions and interests to change their lives and their communities. I also look forward to meeting with current and potential local business and local residents (including my neighbors) and listening to their desires for our community.


Who is a person that inspires you?

Jeanie Kirkhope is a Catholic Worker living in rural Appalachia. I had the privilege of living with her for a couple days a few summers ago. She is dedicated to loving people with her entire self and helping people reach their full potential. She understands that everything is connected and chooses to live her life in a way that holistically addresses the complexity of the issues that people living in rural and impoverished Appalachia experience. She empowered me to do the same wherever I ended up – love people with my whole life and whole self. She is one of the many reasons why I chose to live, work, attend church, and exist in the same place, the Near East side, specifically the Englewood neighborhood.


Tell me something about you that would surprise most people.

I dislike this question. I am a vegetarian, I only have one cousin, my sense of humor is similar to that of a 5th grade boy, I have journals and journals and journals of (hilarious) poetry from elementary school.