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Prepare to be Inspired

March 19, 2012

Celebrating Women, Transforming LivesPrepare to be inspired by three outstanding women at Celebrating Women…Transforming Lives, Bridge Communities’ annual luncheon on Friday, April 27 at Danada House in Wheaton.

Courtney Simek

Courtney Simek

With a two year old son and nowhere to go, Courtney Simek picked up the phone to call Bridge Communities, a call that would change her life.  Her mentors immediately identified Courntey’s potential, encouraging and guiding her toward self-sufficiency.  Now a homeowner with a bachelor’s degree, Courtney is Program Manager for Teen Parent Connection, an organization dedicated to serving teens as they navigate the challenges of parenthood.  Her work at there has inspired other young mothers to complete their goals and work toward self-sufficiency.  Courtney is passionate about helping others, and never turns down a challenge to connect a young mother with resources and support.  Courtney will be honored with the Life Transformed Award at this year’s luncheon.

Diane Nilan

Diane Nilan

Diane Nilan sold all of her belongings and purchased a mobile home, in which she travels the country educating and advocating for homeless children through her non-profit, Hear Us, Inc.  In just over a year, she logged more than 20,000 miles through 34 states, conducted over 75 interviews, and produced a powerful documentary entitled “My Own Four Walls.”  This video is now distributed nationally, targeting school districts responsible for identifying and assisting homeless students.  Diane’s 25+ years of experience with the issues of homelessness includes running emergency shelters in Joliet and Aurora.  She continues to travel the country, capturing the stories of our nation’s most vulnerable population and is a much sought-after speaker on the topic of homelessness.  Diane will be honored with the Transforming Lives Award at the luncheon.

Lisa Nigro

Lisa Nigro

If that weren’t enough, Bridge Communities is thrilled to welcome keynote speaker Lisa Nigro, founder of Inspiration Corporation, an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of homeless people in Chicago and across the country.  She started by handing out sandwiches and coffee from her nephew’s red wagon, and along the way learned the stories of the homeless people she compassionately served.  From a red wagon to a mobile kitchen to a storefront restaurant, Lisa grew her vision of reaching out to homeless men and women to give them meals, dignity and hope.  The Inspiration Corporation has since grown into a $3.8 million agency assisting thousands of individuals each year.  Today, in addition to serving as the public face and guiding spirit of the Inspiration Corporation, Lisa travels the country speaking about volunteerism, nonprofit management and personal growth.  In 2010, Lisa was invited to the White House to be presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal, the highest honor a civilian can receive, cited for her tireless service to her fellow citizens.

It’s an afternoon of transformation, celebration and inspiration that you don’t want to miss.  Please mark your calendar for Friday, April 27 at 11: 30 a.m. and make your reservation for Celebrating Women…Transforming Lives today.

Questions?  Please contact Jennie Gates at (630) 545-0610 ext. 19 or

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