YWCA honors Barbara Kerkhoff for inspiring women

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – The YWCA’s 40th Annual Salute to Women event will recognize women in the community on March 4.

Barbara Kerkhoff is one of those women.

As orchestrator of Indiana Voices of Women, Kerkhoff said it’s her mission to inspire other women to find their voice.

“The mission is to gather women to recall the voices of the past, claim our voice today, so that we can lead with wisdom into the future,” said Kerkhoff.

After leaving a full time job in ministry, she dedicated herself to the IVoW mission, but said getting there is a joint effort.

“My experience of leadership is shared leadership, so it’s many voices. The leadership gets stronger when there’s more voices,” said Kerkhoff.

Teresa Cecil is one of those voices. She and a group other women dedicated themselves to IVoW’s Circle of Women program. The nine month journey meets one weekend per month over a span of nine months. The program offers a mix of story, spirituality and practical application as a basis for facilitating leadership where women live and work. Cecil said she has benefited from the program.

“I have this great group of women I know, that I can get support from, and who can encourage me to move forward in whatever that may be,” said Cecil.

IVoW also strengthens women’s voices by holding one night events where women can gather and grow their voices together.

“I’ve just gotten appreciation for the other gifts that the women have been able to share, and see the world through their eyes,” said Cecil.

Kerkhoff is also part of the diversity roundtable and audits classes at Purdue, but dedicates most of her time to IVoW. Circle of Directors member Sue Blake, said she is inspired by Kerkhoff’s commitment.

“She’s very dedicated to what women are doing and how women are impacted by our culture. She’s so involved. I don’t know how she get’s everything done,” said Blake.

No matter how women choose to become involved with IVoW, Kerkhoff said the goal is simple.

“It’s simply finding ways to nourish women,” said Kerkhoff.

For more information on Indiana Voices of Women, click here.

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