Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES is a grant funded initiative under the supervision of Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division. In addition to the Leadership Team below, Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES relies on the assistance of a volunteer Community Advisory Board, consisting of professionals from a diverse group of youth serving organizations representing Allen County.
Judge Charles F. Pratt began his service to Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division as a Judicial Referee in 1983. He was appointed Magistrate in 1985 and was elected Judge by the people of Allen County in 1998. Judge Pratt founded the Annual Conference on Youth in 1990 and Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES in 1999, providing strengths-based practices and positive youth development training to youth workers in Allen County.
Nancy Springer, Family Court Administrator, Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division, joined Great KIDS in August, 2012 as Coordinator. She holds a BA from Lyon College and a MM from Ball State University. Before coming to Great KIDS, Nancy worked with several non-profit and faith-based organizations planning events, organizing volunteers, and leading group trainings on various subjects. Nancy completed the “Essentials of Asset Building” Training of Trainers with Search Institute in 2013 and the “Say Yes to No” Training of Trainers at the Bolster Collaborative Summer Training Academy in 2014.
Nancy transitioned to CHINS Administrator with the court in the summer of 2016 and serves as acting Great KIDS Coordinator during the interim.
Deanna Arnold, Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES Coordinator,
joined Great KIDS in May 2017. She holds a BS in Psychology from Purdue University, IPFW. Formerly, she served as Executive Director of Northeastern Indiana Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Inc., where she helped establish the program as an independent not for profit operating in Noble, Whitley, Dekalb, Lagrange and Steuben counties. She has been a family law mediator and Guardian ad Litem, working with the courts in several counties in northeast Indiana.
Jessica Blackburn, Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES Assistant Coordinator,
joined Great KIDS in January 2017. She earned her BSW from the University of Saint Francis, where she developed a passion for empowering youth and families. Jessica continues to stay connected to USF by serving on their Social Work Community Advisory Board. Prior to coming to Great KIDS, Jessica spent time as an intern working with CASA and Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division, advocating for abused and neglected children in Allen County. She also previously assisted the YMCA Youth Service Bureau as an intern where she gained experience in providing support and resources to families and youth in crisis. Jessica continues to support youth and families in Allen County by serving on the YSB’s Board and fundraising committee.