Amanda Forum Kicks Off

Amanda-Forum-2014Thanks to a generous grant from the Porter County Women's Impact Fund, The Caring Place was able to reach and teach the community about preventing youth dating violence at the Amanda Forum training event January 29-31.

Despite the cold and blustery winter weather, 35 community leaders attended the Leadership Breakfast and 60 people from the area participated in the Community Presentation. Professionals/educators took part in an all-day training workshop, and on the final day of the conference 150 Porter County students attended to learn how to start youth forums in their schools/organizations.

Highlights included a perfect trifecta of speakers...

Dr. Malcolm Astley, activist and founder of Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial, was the keynote speaker for all three days. Malcolm's only daughter, Lauren, was murdered a few weeks after high school graduation. His dynamic presentation included heartfelt memories and lessons learned from his personal tragedy. Porter County resident, Amanda Bach also lost her life in 2011, when she was murdered by her boyfriend shortly after her graduation. Malcolm and Amanda Bach's family were both able to honor their children by addressing "breakup violence" and making an impact to prevent future tragedies.

Damien Frierson flew in from Washington DC from Despite many travel obstacles due to the weather, Damien was able to provide training to professionals and students on preventing youth dating violence.

Christina-Marie Santillan from, joined Damien for the Youth Workshop training, completing the powerful 3 day presentation.

The Amanda Forum was established in honor of Amanda Bach, who lost her life to dating violence in 2011. Special thanks to The Bach Family for attending and supporting The Amanda Forum

Thank you to all the speakers, attendees and youth in the community who made the first Amanda Forum a huge success! Together we are creating a Movement.

Stay connected to the Amanda Forum Facebook page for updates.