There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Founded in 2018, Listen To Shafter is a comprehensive community benefit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and resiliency of our community. We pursue a holistic approach that promotes literacy and education among children and youth, encourages cooperation and public participation among teens & adults, and incubates and fosters growing organizations to affect positive, empirical transformation in our community. We continuously strive to operate programs that are conceived, designed and evaluated through a process of conversation with our neighbors.
Katie Wiebe has been an active member of the community for over 15 years, working with several local initiatives including the Shafter Christmas Store and the Little Free library network prior to co-founding Listen To Shafter. She is a tireless advocate for childhood literacy and is passionate about engaging children and families in authentic community education experiences.
Katie has been recognized as the 2021 "Citizen of the Year" by the Shafter Chamber of Commerce. She holds a degree in Liberal Studies from Fresno Pacific and works part-time at Grimmway Academy Shafter as a literacy champion. She also raises three boys with her husband, John Wiebe, and teaches at the Shafter Learning Center when her schedule allows.
Melissa Bergen is a longstanding and well-respected agent for positive change in Shafter, with a committed focus on building bridges between disconnected segments of the community. Before founding Listen to Shafter, Melissa collaborated with Katie on several community projects and did pastoral work for Iglesia Compañerismo Cristiano
Melissa has generational roots in Shafter and grew up at the local Cotton Research Station, which is now designated as a historical landmark. She works as a Community Development Specialist for Self-Help Enterprises and holds a Master's Degree in Community Leadership and Transformation from the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary.
Adam Starrh is an enthusiastic advocate for including community members in the process of development planning from the very beginning. He is passionate about building effective strategic approaches to positive transformation that deliver measurable outcomes as much as possible.
Adam grew up in one of Shafter's many farming families and received his MBA in Economic Development from Eastern University through a multi-disciplinary program that prepared him in the practices of business administration, community development, community research, anthropology, program planning and more. He is excited to bring these skills back home to develop new methods for building up communities.