Hand Raisers and Game Changers: 100 Heroes Week 15

The time has come — it’s the final week of sharing the stories of United Way’s 100 Heroes. Over the past four months, we have shared the stories of 100 hand raisers and game changers in our community. We hope their stories have inspired you! This week features the final five Heroes, who all have a laser-focus on what they’re passionate about. From implementing literacy and STEM education to rallying for social justice and equal opportunities, these Heroes have made tremendous impact in our community.


To see all of the stories of United Way’s 100 Heroes, look here.


Rupal Thanawala Rupal Thanawala

“Everyone can be a hero. A hero, to me, is a normal person ready to step up and take the challenge to make a difference,” said Rupal Thanawala. Thanawala has risen to the challenge through her leadership efforts in the areas of diversity and inclusion, STEM programs, health and technology. Read her story








Sister Jane SchillingSister Jane Schilling

Sister Jane Schilling was a social change agent and committed herself to serving the community. She embarked on a mission early in life to ensure all who could benefit received opportunities to achieve and overcome. She was dedicated to helping the poor and had a strong sense and desire for justice, which was evident to all who knew her. Read her story












Shontovia AtkinsonShontovia Atkinson

Shontovia Atkinson could have chosen to give up hope after multiple setbacks in life, but quitting is not in her vocabulary. Instead, she has chosen to dedicate herself to providing hope and second chances to those she serves at Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. Read her story









Diane SchmidtDiane Schmidt

After her most recent move to Indianapolis in 2014, Schmidt found Tangram, an organization that supports people with disabilities, where she shares her love of music by leading Music Club. Thanks to Schmidt’s leadership, the group has become a close-knit family of 10-15 participants and seven volunteers. Read her story








Ruth RusieRuth Rusie

Picture yourself at 99 years old. What do you see? Many people can only barely imagine surviving to 99 years, but Central Indiana’s own Ruth Rusie is thriving – and fighting for the literacy of all children. Read her story






View All 100 Heroes