Today we welcomed fellow Elkhart Rotarian and Executive Director of Tolson Center for Community Excellence, Breanna Allen as she shared both the history and future of Tolson as an exciting new project for our community. The Tolson Center for Community Excellence builds off the foundation established by Herbert and Ruth Tolson and carried forward by the City of Elkhart for decades. A true community partnership—built on the feedback from residents—is creating a revitalized Tolson Center rooted in South Central Elkhart, reaching across generations and cultures to serve all of the Elkhart community and beyond.
Breanna shared the history of the community center.
Then Breanna shared what's coming! The NEW Tolson Facility will include:
  • 30,000 sq. ft
  • 2 Indoor Gymnasiums
  • Dance and Art Room
  • Computer Room
  • Childcare Room
  • Community Care Room
  • Commercial Kitchen
  • Outdoor Basketball Courts
  • Soccer Field
  • Park 
  • Beautiful Landscaping
  • Indigenous Plants
For more about the Tolson Center for Community Excellent, including how you can become involved or support the project, visit:
More about Breanna: 
Born and raised in Terre Haute, Breanna earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Criminology & Criminal Justice and African & African American studies from Indiana State University. Allen continued on to earn a Master of Science degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Indiana State University. Allen recently earned an Education Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education from Northcentral University.  Allen is a mother of four and resides in South Bend with her husband and family. Breanna’s professional career brought her up to Michiana to work as a Student Affairs Specialist at Harrison College. Gaining experience supporting at-risk college students, fostering an environment to increase student engagement, and assisting with Career Development prepared Allen to transition to Ivy Tech Community College Elkhart County Campus, as the Director of Career Development for three years. While working in higher education, particularly with adult learners, Allen recognized gaps in the alignment of the workforce and education. Furthermore, there was a significant disconnect amongst minorities with college graduation rates low and the struggle of securing a high wage high demand job. This realization empowered Allen to begin pursuing her Doctorate of Education Degree in Higher Education Leadership, from Northcentral University, in San Diego, California. Allen’s dissertation focus is “The effect mentoring programs at Community Colleges have on Minority Males Success”. Prior to entering her new role at Tolson Center for Community Excellence, Allen worked for a non-profit organization, Horizon Education Alliance. While not working, she is serving her community in a variety of capacities, including as a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Eta Mu Omega Chapter in South Bend and serves as the President of the chapter. Breanna is also the secretary of the Inclusive Procurement Board with the City of South Bend and is a '40 under 40' recipient. Servant leadership drives every move Allen makes, knowing that giving to the community only makes it stronger. She has a personal investment in serving minority and women entrepreneurs and the youth, as they are our future.