Interview with Erin Busk, President, Board of Directors
As a transplant to Indianapolis in 2008 to finish her bachelors in cultural anthropology at IUPUI, Erin Busk decided to stay in Indy after graduation and begin a career in youth work. Erin learned of AmeriCorps and served with two local youth serving organizations, Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis and Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. Through her service, she was connected to INRC after completing her final term of service with Public Allies.
In an interview with Erin, she shared her love for Indy.
Read more about Erin Busk, current President of the INRC Board of Directors.
What neighborhood do you live in and what is unique about your neighborhood?
I am on the border of Butler Tarkington and Crown Hill neighborhoods. I love how many long-time residents live in my neighborhood. They are such amazing assets!
What is your passion?
Young people. How I interact in my community is based on what is good for the young people in my community. That is what my work has been about since the beginning. I grew up in Gary and the most successful things in the community happened when they included the voices of the young people. It really shaped my passions as an adult. My goal is to place value on young folks that creates life-long investment in their growth and engagement.
Where do you work?
I work for the IN Dept of Education where I oversee 21st Century Community Learning Center’s (not the same thing as 21st Century Scholars). We are the largest funder of after-school in the state; providing federal funding for after-school programs who engage under-served youth, grades k-12. I have been there for one year this June. I spent 10 years in direct service and I can apply it now to system building efforts alongside other state agencies. I love my job and I am lucky I can help serve and support so many young people in Indiana.
What do you do for fun?
I like to travel a lot; I have been fortunate to have been all over the world. I recently just got back from Cartagena, Columbia. What an amazing place.
What's your favorite thing to do in Indy?
EAT! There are a lot of delicious restaurants and we have so many local restaurants and a lot of cultures diverse options represented in Indy. Indy is a great place to be a foodie.
Where can we find you on any given weekend?
I utilize the plethora of the parks and green space in Indy – Eagle Creek, Crown Hill cemetery, and Tarkington Park to name a few. During the summer I will be looking for a local festival; I am always trying to get the pulse for the community.
Why did you choose INRC for board leadership?
I felt called to INRC through Public Allies (PA) not just for its role it plays in the community, but its role supporting such an amazing program that uplifts and inspires future young leaders. I felt drawn to support the work. I was also welcomed so openly by the board and the staff and they accepted my leadership style. I am fortunate to have been on the board since 2013.
What's the one surprising thing INRC does?
I am always amazed by how many people are impacted by the support and efforts that INRC provides to its Indy neighbors/neighborhoods and hearing the stories of success that the neighbors achieved due to the support of INRC and the grit and hard work of the neighbors to implement the knowledge INRC shared with them. People INRC serves are from all different decades, background, etc. It is representative of what INRC is all about – diversity and inclusiveness to help neighborhoods thrive.
Why do you support INRC?
I think it is important to have an organization that’s mission is to convene neighborhoods together for the betterment of neighbors and our city. It is extremely important work. INRC works for the community, with the community, and helps eliminate barriers between community organizations and neighborhood organizations. No other organization in Indianapolis does this work and the mission has proven itself over the last 24 years with the growth and sustainability of so many Indianapolis neighborhoods still to this day.