70.L&L – Opioid Series

Joanne Kelley Cogdell started her company last year, envisioning a South Bend community that could support one another through the opioid crisis. Since the launch of Naxos Neighbors, Bendable has guided her closer to that vision. She’s using the lifelong learning platform as a jumping-off point to host a series of trainings at the St. Joseph County Public Library. Her learning playlist of resources on the topic, featured above, inspired dozens of people to attend the events. “There’s no way we could get that engagement and interest in this topic without Bendable’s help,” Joanne said.

May 2022

69.L&L – Jared Basker

Although Edward Basker died in 1972, his art can be seen all around South Bend. A selection of his best-known pieces—mostly watercolors—will be on view at the St. Joseph County Public Library for the next two months, but it won’t end there. The community can also tap a new Bendable resource. (Just go to “Explore” and search “Basker.”) “It’s a unique experience to be able to cement his name into a source where people can continue to learn about him,” said Jared Basker, Edward’s grandnephew, who organized the exhibit. “People will be able to keep his legacy alive.”

May 2022

68.L&L – Tre Goodhue

The St. Joseph County Public Library is shining a light on systemic injustice through Bryan Stevenson’s memoir Just Mercy, this year’s choice for the One Book, One Michiana initiative. And Bendable is making that light a little brighter. Visitors to the Main Branch can access Bendable Community Collections—playlists of books, podcasts and other learning resources—through an exhibit showcasing local residents dedicated to enacting social change. “Bendable is so community driven,” said library specialist Tre Goodhue. “It’s a great platform for that outreach.”

April 2022

67.L&L – Nina Stoeckel

After 12 years as a clinical psychologist, Nina Stoeckel is ready to open her own private practice. But she was missing one skill before she could move forward: building a website. Bendable helped her take the next step. After attending an in-person learning group at the library co-hosted by Bendable, Nina not only learned how to make a website of her own, but she walked away with a working product. “Technology is definitely not my strong suit,” she said. “I was so appreciative of this opportunity.”

April 2022

66. L&L – Mara Lucas

Mara Lucas has been a fan of the library since moving to South Bend 14 years ago. But it didn’t occur to her that it could help her start her own business until she connected with Bendable. Lucas, who works in student affairs at Notre Dame, seeks in her side hustle to connect community members who abstain from alcohol through in-person events and social networking. Since attending a workshop and a learning group co-hosted by Bendable and the library, she’s been able to lay out a clearer path for her business. “I am continually amazed by the breadth of options and experiences Bendable has,” Mara said.

March 2022

65. L&L – Jeremy Prince

Even for a professional, there’s always room to get a leg up. For Jeremy Prince, Bendable is the perfect learning platform. He began searching through courses to pick up more skills in data analysis and coding. And now, after completing an edX class on the R programming language, he’s eager to put his new knowledge to use at his fellowship with a local nonprofit. “I’m excited to tell more stories with data now,” said Jeremy, who plans to explore more resources on computer skills. “I really like the structure of Bendable. I can learn a little bit everyday.”

March 2022

64.L&L – Howard Whetstone

Eleven years after Howard Whetstone graduated college for the first time, he’s thinking of enrolling again. While the process can be daunting, he has Bendable to help guide him through it. Howard is taking the Ivy Tech Student Success course, which teaches skills such as note taking and time management and is now available via Bendable. In addition, the Memorial Hospital technician is using the lifelong learning platform to check out possible careers and brush up on his math. “Bendable,” said Howard, “has helped me explore what I might be interested in going back to school for.”

February 2022

63.L&L – Jamila Blue

When Jamila Blue decided to relaunch her company, Conscious Michiana, as a nonprofit, her goal was to build a stronger bond with her community. Bendable gave her the tools she needed. After attending a marketing lecture by Bendable Community Collection author Ben Bulgrien, she went home with new ideas for planning a festival for Conscious Michiana, which promotes spiritual wellness by connecting holistic practitioners and clients. “I was really impressed,” Jamila said. “Not just with the event, but with the amount of resources that are on Bendable, too.”

February 2022

62.L&L – Francie Fink

It’s easy to fall out of pace with life during long winters. Bendable is here to help you pass the time—and learn something exciting, too. Through January and February, Bendable will partner with the City of South Bend and the St. Joseph County Public Library to host Winter of Learning, a series of events that include local speakers, group learning circles and movie screenings. (For details, see sjcpl.org/news/winter-of-learning/) “Bendable gives us a place to make these resources public to everyone,” said Francie Fink, a fellow at the nonprofit enFocus who develops programming for the city. “That’s going to be a huge help.”

January 2022

61.L&L – Haley Allaben

Bendable has always met learners where they’re at. Now, whether it’s at your school, the fitness center, museum or a favorite coffee shop, we’re finding new ways to come to you. Haley Allaben (seen at left) and Eliana Fram worked with their colleagues at enFocus, a local nonprofit, to hang more than 200 Bendable posters at 60 locations around South Bend. QR codes direct users to learning tracks such as “Dive into history” and “Get a leg up at work.” Said Haley: “It’s helpful to have something visual out there in the community that people may not have access to in their own homes.”

January 2022