Changing the culture that leads to domestic violence.

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Meet our New AmeriCorps Public Ally, Gage!

Hi. I’m Gage. I am an AmeriCorps member and Indianapolis Public Ally assigned to serve with Domestic Violence Network until summer 2019.

Though I have been with DVN for only a few weeks, already I have met tens of direct service providers, advocates and others serving at agencies and institutions in Indianapolis, as well as the nation at large. I have met survivors of domestic violence too.

I sought a position as Public Ally because I wanted to make meaningful relationships with people who help people, and people who need help from people. I said yes the moment DVN offered me a position because I knew they were among the first group, and I knew they would introduce me to people in the second. Yet, that DVN is a group of helpers wasn’t my only consideration.

My interview, in which there was me and five folks from DVN, was neither staid nor serious. We laughed, bantered, and got personal. I shared details of my life that weren’t to be taken lightly, and so did they. Everyone rewarded one another for openness and honesty. Those are two qualities in people I value most, especially potential colleagues.

Some years before I became a Public Ally I briefly taught English in Japan, and before that I worked for three years as a newspaper reporter. Many experiences during that time connected me to people who need help from others. Most often, they weren’t getting that assistance. Life demanded I take a break from journalism, but those experiences changed me. I wanted to do something about people not getting the help they deserved. Either I would help them myself, directly, I thought, or perhaps I could motivate, persuade, or inspire others to fulfill those needs. Exploring where I fit brought me to Public Allies and DVN.

My chief aim while at DVN is that I help someone’s life suck a little less—hopefully more than a little and hopefully more than one person—but of course I have personal and professional goals too. After my term I will likely try to maintain a career among Indianapolis’ non-profit community or return to journalism.

On either path I can still achieve that chief aim.

Gage Bentley