Founder and CEO | Free Your Wings Youth Mentoring, Inc.

South Bend, IN

Indiana University MSW graduate Aja K. Ellington is an award-winning progressive thinker that serves the South Bend, IN community as an exemplary Mental Health Professional who represents several organizations that are committed to the innovation, change, and solutions that decrease poverty and disrupt the mental health stigma. Aja is the founder and CEO of Free Your Wings Youth Mentoring, Inc. a community-based non-profit organization striving to break the barriers restricting the success and growth of youth living in poverty. She currently serves as GVI/SAVE Community Resource Coordinator, a role in which she mentors youth within South Bend schools and practices restorative justice by responding to incidents of gun violence to prevent retaliation and support those at risk as well as survivors. From her past social work roles, she has developed skills in the areas of client-centered case management, clinical mentoring, trauma-informed care, mental health & addictions counseling, and advocacy which she now uses to empower and educate others through public speaking and authorship. As the recipient of the 40 under 40 awards, chairperson of several standout organizations and recognized business coach her motivation stems from motherhood, growing up in poverty, and her dream of breaking generational cycles.