Who Is YMI?
Meet Our Staff
A little bit about me, I’m a self-proclaimed “Jack-of-all-trades”; however, I do have a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Ball State University in Criminal Justice and Political Science. I held positions in Adult Probation and Youth Detention before changing gears and heading into Corporate America to enjoy a successful career in sales. After our third daughter was born, my job became full-time Mom and the high heels were traded in for sneakers and messy buns. I continued to stay connected through volunteering, as well as working part-time at the Fishers Y, helping launch Livestrong at the YMCA, an exerise program for cancer survivors. I live in Fishers with my three daughters; Bailey, Sydney and Mia, my hubby Bryant and crazy Great Dane Blu.
Director of Mentor Development
I’m very excited to be with YMI. Over the past twenty years I have worked as a youth leader in two different churches, a youth worker in a group home and with the Foster Care system. I’ve worked on several different research projects mandated by Congress to better improve the child welfare system. I attended Crossroads Bible College with my Biblical Counseling degree. Ten years ago I focused on staying home with my kids but also volunteered and served as the Troop Coordinator for 8 years with American Heritage Girls. I share life with my husband, Garry and our four blessings. Cassidy, Annalee, Colton, and Addison. I love the outdoors, music and camping with my family.
Born and raised in the greater Chicago land area, I have a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration from Robert Morris University in Orland Park, IL. I’ve worn many hats, including Administrative Assistant, Sales Manager, Case Associate, Wife, Mom and Volunteer. My husband and I moved to Fishers with our two children (Madison and Hudson) just over five years ago. I am thrilled to be joining an organization and group of people that serve the community in such a positive way!
I am excited to be on this journey with YMI. I have been working with teens in various capacities for over 25 years including teen mom support groups, church youth groups and missions. I received my M.Ed in School Counseling in 2010 and worked in both an International and private Christian school. I currently volunteer with Outreach Inc, working with homeless teens and Child Advocates, working with children in foster care. I have 5 children and a grandson, whom I adore. Besides hanging out with them, I enjoy yoga, swimming, travel and serving God however He leads.
My name is Jessica Christianson and I’m thrilled to be joining the YMI family! I’ve held various job titles over the years, but my number one passion has stayed the same: developing people and creating environments where they grow and thrive. I currently live out this passion as the Campus Coordinator at Sand Creek Intermediate and Fishers Junior High.
My name is Courtney Lawhead and I am originally from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I grew up in a big family and spent many summers while growing up as a nanny for other large families as I have always enjoyed working with children. I feel God has blessed me and my family so I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve with YMI and hopefully make a positive impact in the lives of others.
Over the past twenty years, I have held positions serving youth as a substitute teacher, behavioral specialist, life coach, and family coordinator. At my church, I serve as a youth advisor and I oversee our youth dance team. I truly believe that mentorship is one of the most effective catalyst that fosters personal enrichment in the lives of our youth. This is why I am so excited to be a part of this movement towards positive change through the YMI program as a Campus Coordinator.
Board of Directors
Steven Orusa is Fire Chief for the Fishers Department of Fire and Emergency Services since 2011. He has served over 33 years in law enforcement and fire service positions. He serves on the following non for profit boards: City of Fishers Youth Mentoring Initiative (YMI), Hamilton County Humane Society, Leslie Anne Hulse Foundation (Human Trafficking), and the International Association of Dive Rescue Specialists (IADRS) board of directors.
Steven grew up in Chicago, Illinois, receiving his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University in 1983. His graduate work is in Human Resource Management. He is a published author and frequently invited speaker on public safety leadership and development techniques. He has provided analysis on public safety response for USA Today, Fire Chief Magazine, Fire Engineering Magazine, and has also appeared on BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN to provide expert analysis on disaster response.
Joe joined the YMI board in August 2019 and looks forward to advancing YMI’s mission of providing specialized mentor programs for all students.
Matt Kegley is in his 13th year working in Hamilton Southeastern Schools. Matt currently serves the district as the Director of Secondary Education. With almost a quarter century of public education expereince, Matt has taught and served in administration in schools of various secondary grade configurations. Matt has worked in Waldron and Huntington before coming to the HSE School District. Matt is married to his wife Jennifer and they have three children; Olivia, Sophia, and Isaiah.
CRYSTAL MURFF THORPE
Crystal Murff Thorpe is the very proud principal at Fishers Junior High School in the Hamilton Southeastern School District and has served in this position for ten years. She began her career as a high school English teacher and later served as an assistant principal in both MSD Perry Township and MSD Wayne Township. She earned her undergraduate degree from Indiana University, her master’s degree from Butler University, and is currently completing her PhD at Indiana State University in educational leadership. She is also the Principal-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis where she trains future school leaders. Crystal has been featured in the Fishers Current newspaper, received the Ford Motor Company Unsung Hero Award, and was honored in Who’s Who in Black Indianapolis for Academia. She has provided professional development to HSE schools on fundamental classroom conditions and has been a guest speaker at Ball State University.
Betsy Block has been a resident of Fishers since 1992. She and her husband, city councilman Rich Block, have raised four children here and have served the youth of our community in many different ways. Betsy has worked on the PTO of several Hamilton Southeastern Schools, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis guild, St. Vincent Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital Hero project, participated in Oprah’s Big Give for Third Phase Women’s Shelter and has served on various church boards and committees. Professionally, she works as a healthcare consultant for IBM Watson Health and has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare marketing and strategic planning. She works with hospitals to design business development strategy for optimal performance under value-based care. Betsy is starting her second year as a YMI mentor and has experienced the incredible impact these relationships can have on a child’s life.
Ashley leads the communications strategy and media relations for the City of Fishers as its public relations director. With over a decade of communications experience in the non-profit and public sectors, she directs strategy for major projects including the Fishers Mental Health Initiative and the city’s partnership with Hamilton Southeastern Schools, CurioCity. Ashley holds a Bachelors Degree in Business from Indiana University and lives in Fishers with her husband and two children.
In addition to YMI, Corby serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations, including the Hamilton County Community Foundation, Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, Hamilton County Economic Development Corporation, as well as the Fishers Rotary Club. Corby holds a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University. Corby lives in Fishers with his wife, Julie and they have twin boys, Cole and Cooper.