An Asset Champion is someone who helps build developmental assets in young people in the Faribault area. Faribault Youth Investment, known as FYI, is the sponsor of this recognition program and welcomes nominations from any community member, youth or adult. Recently, Caleb Case, Katie Bisping, and T.J. Lombard were recognized as Asset Champions for their dedicated support to Faribault youth.

Case, Bisping and Lombard are all teachers at Faribault Middle School, where Case teaches social studies, Bisping teaches language arts, and Lombard teaches math. They also run the Faribault Middle School Theatre Troupe.

Student Luke Weng nominated the teachers because of their strong connections with their students.

“They help kids build teamwork and leadership skills in theater,” Weng said. “They are youthful and fun and keep kids entertained and excited in the classroom.”

MacKenzie Love, the Community School coordinator at Faribault Middle School, said Case, Bisping, and Lombard work together to better benefit the students, who are always their first priority.

Love described Case as an advocate for students who need additional support to succeed. “He recognizes the strength of each student and helps them discover that for themselves,” she said.

Bisping encourages students to find themselves through acting and music, and is willing to listen when students are struggling, Love said. “She understands that students are more than what they bring to class; students have lives outside of school, and she tries to connect personally with each student,” she said.

Lombard makes learning math fun by creating videos on YouTube to help students better understand the material outside of class, Love said. In the theater program, he supervises the stage crew. “Kids are allowed to explore their interests and have fun building and painting sets,” Love said.

The Faribault Youth Investment Board accepts nominations for Asset Champions at any time. Community members are encouraged to recommend Champions using this simple form on the organization’s website.

Faribault Youth Investment (FYI) is dedicated to the success of young people in the Faribault area and is anchored by the 40 Developmental Assets, a framework which outlines the building blocks of healthy youth development. Faribault Youth Investment aims to increase the community’s capacity for providing a supportive “growing up” environment for all youth by convening multiple sectors in collaborative efforts.