Jess Koscher didn’t picture herself as a hometown girl when she was growing up.
She jumped at the chance to move to Chicago. There, she reasoned, in a bigger city there would be more people who looked like her compared with the mostly white faces she saw at her school.
Now, Jess wouldn’t call any place other than Elkhart County home.
Life brought her back to Elkhart County and now she has put down roots. Her work with the United Way of Elkhart County and now ADEC, and her involvement in the Goshen Clay Artists Guild, means Jess is a familiar and welcome face throughout Elkhart County.
“Today, when I look around our community, I see people who have stayed or have come back and are making significant changes. They are adding new depth to the richness that was always here,” Jess says.
She has been awed by the generosity of Elkhart County residents, from the factory workers who would give generously in response to her appeals on behalf of the United Way. Now, she also sees that generosity of spirit at work through ADEC, which provides services and support for Elkhart County’s disabled.
“I know that this community is where I belong when I watch people build genuine relationships with individuals who have intellectual disabilities by taking the time to discover common ground and interests,” she says.
Jess takes pride in how Elkhart County contributes to the world. A few years ago, she was helping with disaster relief following a hurricane in Louisiana, and came to the realization that the the RVs being used as shelters came from her hometown.
“I love that in Elkhart County, we build things. We contribute to the world,” Jess says. “We are gritty and bold and unsinkable. We give back and we lend a hand.”
Thank you, Jess, for loving where you live.
- Mark Mikel cherishes the warm embrace of a tight-knit community
- Betsy Ayrea Delfine builds community through Soup of Success, and relationships
- Nayo Ulloa’s affection for Goshen returned in full
- Zach Dubois rooted in Elkhart County even as music carries his career
- Lisa Guedea Carreño turned ‘Why not?’ into a new life, bigger family
- Aaron Willis invests his energy supporting kids
- Dorothy Jean Carter lives to create and connect with others
- Rodney Dale pays forward life lessons to Elkhart kids
- Phyllis Miller digs deep into Elkhart County’s farm, food cultures
- Kim Clarke keeps Middlebury on the move
- Lucky and family found Elkhart was on their side
- Radi Buenrostro embraces her future in Goshen area
- Mountain bikers blazed their own trail at Bonneyville Mill
- Jill Swartz finds home for her heart and passions in Bristol
- Toby Crowley gives back far more than he received