Meet our Live IndyEast Promise Zone VISTA and future president!

This week I would like to introduce Rebekah Wood! Rebekah is the Promise Zone VISTA for Live IndyEast. Her focus is to promote redevelopment of housing that encourages new and affordable options for near Eastside residents. Here are Rebekah’s answers:

Did you grow up in Indy?

R for blogI was born in Indianapolis but after a year moved to Springfield, Missouri. Most of my childhood and teenage years were spent in Evansville, Indiana. I moved to Indianapolis after finishing my undergrad at IU for the city, family, and job opportunities.


What do you love about Indy?

There are few things that I don’t love about Indianapolis. It’s a totally different vibe than Evansville or Bloomington. I like being in a bigger city but it’s still a close community; you can see that neighbors here truly look out for one another. I have loved getting to know the people and organizations driving the development of this city. I believe that Indianapolis is definitely in a growth period and that this growth period has come at a time when people have more working knowledge about what makes a community sustainable, strong, and healthy. I am looking forward to seeing Indianapolis in a few years after some of this growth has taken place.


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

My biggest concern would be the resistance that is encountered as Indianapolis is developing and growing. There are people who have lived here their whole lives and like the Indianapolis that they grew up with. But as population, workforce, and technology are changing, we need to embrace a city that can grow with it. I know that as long as we work together toward a future that encompasses the voice of every neighborhood, we can create an even deeper sense of connection that will result in an even stronger city.


What attracted you to your specific VISTA position?

I believe that there are currently many broken systems reinforcing archaic perceptions and further suppressing certain populations. I am too aware of the suffering and injustice to sit back and not take some kind of action to bring about a more equitable future. Through teamwork and collaboration, the cycle of poverty can be broken. This position allows me to work and gain experience that will make me more successful in bringing about change now and in the future.


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

I’ve only been here a couple of weeks but I have already met some incredible people working hard to increase the quality of life for those living in Indianapolis. I feel that sometimes I can be pessimistic when it comes to being able to affect change; however, the more I learn about initiatives, neighborhood groups, and work of the city government I have become much more optimistic about the future. There are so many people who care and who want to make a difference that it’s really got me excited to see their plans come to fruition.


Who is a person that inspires you?

This is a tough question because there is not just one person that has inspired me, it has been a compilation of people I have met. Anyone that has overcome major setbacks, who has been successful despite odds, who’s been selfless, loving, compassionate, and forgiving…these people inspire me and make this life worth living. It is my hope that I can continue to inspire and bring light in a way that is a testimony to all who have inspired and affected my life for good.


Tell me something about you that would surprise most people.

My biggest dreams include Presidency.