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Alex Ann Allen
Where to find artistic inspiration
A year ago, I left my job installing windows to become a full-time artist in South Bend. Here are some resources I use to get my creative juices flowing.
How to get started with coding
As cofounder of the South Bend Code School, I love to see the excitement that comes when those with no technical background begin to program their own websites, games and projects.
How to buy your first house in South Bend
What neighborhoods should you look at? How big a mortgage should you apply for? What kind of lender should you use? As a new homeowner, here’s how I figured it all out.
How to market your small business
As a customer experience specialist for J2 Marketing here in South Bend, I work with all sorts of smaller firms, helping them to build their brand and sharpen their value proposition. These learning resources are ones that I’ve come to lean on.
Getting started as a gardener
I began to garden as a hobby. Now, it’s my profession. But I’ve never lost sight of what it takes for a new gardener to get started successfully, whether you're looking to grow your own food, enhance your surroundings or both.
How the news works from a South Bend perspective
“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy,” Nelson Mandela once said. As a local resident in the thick of the news, I couldn’t agree more.
Making learning fun for kids at home
As an educator and a mom of two young children, here are some of the learning resources that I find myself turning to.
How to invest your first $1,000
As a professional financial advisor here in South Bend, I know that people often think they need to be wealthy to start investing. But that’s really not the case.
How to start making films on a budget
I spent some time in California, but then I came back to South Bend to make films—and you can learn to make them, too.
How to become a foster parent
I have worked locally in the field of child welfare for more than a decade. By sharing these resources, I hope to help you take your first steps to becoming a foster parent.
Learning to have better conversations with the help of restorative justice
You don’t have to be involved with the criminal justice system to gain important insights from a practice that replaces doling out punishment with repairing harm.
How to take advantage of free resources at Notre Dame
Sure, a Notre Dame football ticket could easily set you back $150 or more. But did you realize that there’s a ton of cool stuff you can do at the university that won’t cost you a penny?
Working through stress with dance and movement
I began to practice ballet over 15 years ago, sparking a lifelong passion for dance, fitness and teaching. Here are some great ways for you to get moving yourself.
Creating a beautiful environment for young children to learn and grow
I’ve spent my career thinking about how to provide children with spaces that are both practical and inspiring.
How to build your own gaming PC
After falling in love with personal computers, I built my first one in 2013. Now, working on PCs is my career. With this resource list, you can learn to build your own PC.
Finding resilience in the face of adversity
My whole life has been about overcoming the worst a person can endure, and yet I am proud to stand today as an example of resilience. It is a skill that I learned and worked hard to cultivate.
Understanding the history of racism in South Bend
Having worked at the Civil Rights Heritage Center at IU South Bend for eight years, I’ve gathered these resources to provide a deeper understanding of the fight against racial injustice.
Understanding the basics of public health amid COVID-19
Public health has long been something that many people have taken for granted. It’s time that we all get up to speed.
Discovering a love of Mexican cooking
Food is my passion, in no small part because it is a great way to connect with my own history. No matter where your family comes from, I bet you’ll enjoy making many of the same wonderful dishes that I do.
How to get your security deposit back from your landlord
As a longtime landlord here in South Bend, I can help you learn your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Discovering fun and worthwhile things to do with your family in South Bend
As both a teacher and I mom, I know there is a tendency for people to overlook many of the wonderful activities that are always taking place around South Bend. These resources will help you tap into a wealth of entertaining and enriching opportunities right here in the community.
Succeeding as an artist in South Bend
As a professional artist for more than three decades, I’ve discovered a number of resources that have made me more creative and effective. They can help you, too.
Getting back on your feet after hard times
I truly believe that while some individuals have had a difficult past, with empathy, support and investment they can have a brighter future. I have spent my career providing services to overlooked and underserved members of our community, and I hope that learning about these resources can benefit you, as well.
How to start a small business in the food industry
After 19 years in the hospitality industry, I wanted to switch lanes and start my own venture in the food industry. Actually, I wound up starting two—one for-profit and one nonprofit. I hope these resources can help guide you in taking the first steps to start your own food-related enterprise.
Understanding structural discrimination
The first step to building more diverse and inclusive spaces is recognizing the systemic barriers in our society that get in the way. I’ve been helping communities and organizations see them—and learn to dismantle them—for more than 15 years.
Voting as an informed citizen
As someone who is passionate about encouraging as many people as possible to participate in elections, I’m delighted to share a set of resources that will help you be more knowledgeable when you vote and give you other ways to engage in the democratic process.
Navigating school for your child with special needs
As someone who has spent a long time in the field, I know how hard it can be for parents when your child is struggling with either their physical or mental health.
Living safely in an old home, especially with kids
South Bend is filled with wonderful historic homes, but they come with certain risks. I learned how to tackle them—and you can, too.
How to safely operate your business during COVID-19
As someone who has spent nearly two decades in health-regulated industries, I know how critical it is to exceed customer expectations when it comes to public safety—especially amid COVID-19.
How to become a better leader
In my job at Leadership SBM, I help to cultivate civic leaders across the area. What I’ve learned in this role is that leadership is not about power or the size of your paycheck. It is about being authentic and taking action. Anyone can become a leader—and these resources, which I’ve used in my own life, will help to show you how.
Staying fit at home
Going to the gym is great. But if you can't seem to find the time to get there or can't afford it, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a great workout. And that’s true whether you’re just starting to exercise or are a former professional athlete, like me.
How to start your houseplant collection
I thought my friend’s plants were wonderful, and so I started to grow my own.
Discerning fact from misinformation online
Thanks to the Internet, many of us now have easy access to a lot of information. Working at the public library, I often answer questions about how to spot misinformation online.
How to find a new job when you're out of work
I know how challenging and dispiriting it can be if you’re unemployed. But as someone who has spent decades helping those who are out of work land a new job, I also know that there are many excellent resources to assist you in finding employment. Here are some that are particularly effective.
How to care for yourself in order to care for others
Learning to care for myself allowed me to care for others on a deeper level. I had to learn that my desire to be a force for good in this world required the ability to commit to facing my own truths first. These are some of the tools that helped me get there.
Learn how to fix your bike—and then where to ride it
With these tips, you’ll not only be able to get your bike in gear, you’ll also discover some of the best places around South Bend to go for a spin.