Aster Bekele is the Founder and CEO at FHC. Ms. Aster has been working with programs in the Martindale-Brightwood community since 2004 when she created the Center. She emigrated to Indianapolis from Ethiopia and brought with her a sense of community and love of service. A retired chemist, Aster started the Youth Farm Initiative, established a food production space to give to the community, and continues to engage partners from across the city. Her focus is on youth farming, care of orphans and cultural expression.
LeRae Troutman is the Center Director for FHC.
An Indianapolis Native, she is the youngest of 13 siblings and has 27 nieces and nephews. LeRae is an IPS graduate of George Washington High School. She received her B.S in Psychology and B.A. in Criminal Justice from Central State University in Wilberforce, OH. LeRae loves volunteering anywhere she is needed. She is a member of the Central State Alumni Indy Chapter, NAACP Indy Chapter, Indy Black Chamber of Commerce. When she is not in the community, LeRae enjoys listening to music, traveling, cooking, playing volleyball, shopping, reading poetry and spending time with the special people in her life.
Her passion for working with youth and families is driven by one thing, her belief in a healthy life. She has a mission to see that all families succeed, and that all youth realize their full potential. She has dedicated her career to working with families and helping them overcome barriers of mental health, finance, housing, employment and education for 25 years.
“I am an advocate and resource junkie by nature. Looking for ways to help others has always been second nature to me. I am very passionate about helping our families succeed. Being part of a movement that enhances the lives of others and broadens their future possibilities has been very rewarding. This journey allows me to plant those seeds in other families, giving them a real chance at true self sufficiency.”
Hadessa Henry is the Environmental Advocate who also acts as a Camp Counselor over the summer. She loves the students she works with and enjoys create long lasting relationships that stand for years. She is a fan of cats, loves Marvel, and sings a little!
Kyla Jefferson is the Executive Assistant for FHC. She was born and raised in Indianapolis in the Martindale-Brightwood area. She graduated from Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Performing Arts and went on to earn her Bachelor’s in Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management from IUPUI, with a certificate in Business Foundations from the Kelley School of Business. She has been involved in non profit work since volunteering as a Student Campus Ambassador at IUPUI for United Way. She states that non profit work is “the heart of a community and a direct lifeline to marginalized communities and individuals”.
She is a mom of 2 boys and is married to her high school sweetheart. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, reading, and singing loudly in the shower. She is also a small business owner, having created a bath and body care line, Peaceful Pixie, in 2021.
Ibrahim is the Assistant Farm Manager who also is a Camp Counselor during the summer. He was born in Sierra Leone and came to the United States at the age of two. Ibrahim wants to become an Architect and one day help someone’s imagination come to life. Working at Felege Hiywot, Ibrahim has built many relationships with both staff and students that come and join the program. He loves to fish, play basketball, and learn new things.
Mike Lee is the Founder and CEO of Agile Management and Project Manager for FHC. He has over 10 years of experience creating and managing projects successfully. He is a multifaceted talent as an author, entrepreneur, musician, and producer. He enjoys using Scrum and Project Management in all his personal goals and projects he oversees.
Sarah Peterson is the Communications Manager for FHC. Sarah has worked in communications and external relations for nonprofits across the country for over a decade. At FHC, she helps coordinate the newsletters and social media so that more people can be introduced to the work of the Center.
Hope Staton is the Farm Instructor/Manager at FHC. She is originally from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia where she obtained her BA in English Literature with minors in Theater and Communications. She developed her passion for gardening during her time in the volunteer service in Northern Ireland and her love of working with young people during her years serving in church youth ministry. Hope moved to Indiana to complete her Masters of Divinity at Bethany Theological Seminary and was introduced to FHC through her ministry formation internship.
She is married with cats and in her free time enjoys camping, gaming, cardmaking, reading with hot cups of tea, and all forms of fibercraft, especially using her Tardis blue spinning wheel.