Hawthorne Community Center director has been helping those in need for 50 years

Posted at 7:51 PM, May 14, 2018

The Hawthorne Community Center on Indianapolis' near west side is Diane Arnold's second home.  

Founded more than 90 years ago, the center was built by neighborhood leaders in the Hawthorne area and provides child care, pre-school and several programs for adults and senior citizens. 

"We really focus a lot on that working poor family, that's very proud and wants to take care of their family, but there's a lot of challenges," said Arnold. 

She's worked at the center for 50 years and has been the director for the past 32 - taking over after her mother's retirement - but now she says it's time to pass on the reigns again. 

"I started coming as a child," said Arnold. "My mother worked here and so I came to programs as a child and actually started working when I was 14, 15 years old as a day camp counselor and dance teacher."

It was a tough decision but Arnold says she's happy to be handing over the reigns to others who are like family. 

"Probably 75 percent of the people who work here .. either grew up here as a child .. or their children came here, and there's some connection," said Arnold. "I think that really makes a difference and really keeps that connectivity to the community."

If you know someone making a difference in the community, nominate them for a Jefferson Award by clicking here.

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