WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Gipe sees serving as the tool for positive change

Editor’s note: During the next few weeks, The Post & Mail will be highlighting several graduates from Whitley County who were once deemed “Leaders of Tomorrow” in a 2007 special publication.COLUMBIA CITY – Leading is not always done from a corner office. Sometimes the most influential leader acts out of a servant’s posture.Jeremy Gipe, 24, of Columbia City, was once touted as a Leader of Tomorrow in 2007 for missions work in his church, in the community and even in other countries. Although his world travels may be few and far between now, this family man still has a passion to inject the community with his service.“I’ve always wanted to be a person who made a difference,” Gipe said. “That starts here in my community. It’s not about me or what I want, but it’s about what the community needs. It’s about doing my part to make this community a better place.”Selflessness is the trait Gipe aspires to exude and attributes his leadership success to this virtue. Gipe’s day job is built on change too. As a Youth Treatment Specialist with Lifeline Youth & Family Services, Gipe works with teen boys at Pierceton Woods Academy to help transform hurt pasts into positive and productive futures. It is his natural gift of encouragement that developed an optimistic perspective for Gipe, and he works to infuse this into the teens he treats. “Some of these kids come from backgrounds completely void of positive influence,” Gipe said. “I have the chance to show them that someone cares. I am an example of what life can be on this side.”Gipe is only a few years older than the teens he is trying to inspire, but he sees his age as a bonus. Seeing troubled teens day in and day out, Gipe understands the growing concern that resonates within high school hallways and among teachers, parents and school administration.While Gipe has a vision for changing lives, he isn’t afraid to change diapers. A father of two, his wife, Leslie, and he have been married for three years.To read more about Jeremy Gipe, look at this story, see the Feb. 20 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.