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Community Partnership

Champion for Community

Jason Taege, Northern Region

Helping a student achieve through DreamsWork

In 2006, Commercial Relationship Manager Jason Taege committed to be part of the Elkhart, Ind., DreamsWork program after hearing a presentation by one of the organization’s founders. Since that time, Jason has been a mentor to a young man named “Javonte’”

Says Jason, “DreamsWork is unique in several facets, but its core focus is for mentors to build a long-term relationship with one student and to help guide that student through life on the way to a post-secondary education. The program requires an eight-year commitment, and mentors are matched with high-achieving students from an inner city elementary school. We stress community service activities as well as academic performance to help students achieve their dreams.”

Students in the DreamsWork program are guided by dedicated mentors from elementary school through high school graduation Each year, up to ten students who prove themselves successful in their academic pursuits and whose lives consistently reflect integrity may receive "last-dollar" financial assistance enabling them to attend a DreamsWork approved college or university of their choice.

Jason is joined by other Old National Northern Region associates – Cheryl Foster, Mary Nommay-Keil and Dustin Traxler – who are also dedicated DreamsWork mentors.

Reflecting on his experience as a mentor, Jason adds, “I have watched Javonte’ grow from a friendly but reserved fourth grader to a popular, confident 10th grader. Mentoring has provided the opportunity to build a connection and instill the value of education and what it means for him and our community. At the same time, I’ve benefited by knowing I’m making a difference in his life and in the lives of others in our community.”

Jason's other volunteer activities:

  • Roseland Rotary Club
  • Osceola Little League
  • Elkhart Chamber of Commerce
  • St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce
  • United Cancer Services of Elkhart County
  • Habitat for Humanity