“If immediate gratification is possible with community betterment efforts, I have yet to experience it. Working toward the goals I’ve chosen takes perseverance.”
In their own words
After graduating in May 2014 with a BA in Economics, I moved from New York to Kansas City and became a volunteer hospital advocate for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA). We’re trained in crisis intervention and legal advocacy so we’re prepared to respond 24/7 to survivors of sexual violence at hospitals in the KC Metro Area. I’m also on the MOCSA Speaker’s Bureau, and have been proud to assist their Community Education Team and Crisis Line.
I also present independently in hopes of recruiting people to join me in the fight against sexual violence. Last year I became a board member for KC Street Hope, a non-profit working to eradicate sex trafficking (primarily domestic minor sex trafficking) in the KC area through education and prevention efforts. We activate local churches to volunteer and come alongside other organizations working toward similar goals.
When there is legislation that will impact sexual violence in the judicial system, I meet with local legislators and various political groups to ensure they understand its importance.
As of January, I’m proud to say I’m a Founding Member of Northland Progress, a non-profit grassroots coalition working to inform and engage Northlanders on local and state government policies.
This Christmas my husband and I will be excited to host our 5th Annual Martin T. Rucker’s “A Christmas to Remember” Toy & Game Drive for Big Brothers Big Sisters. We’ve been able to donate nearly 500 toys just in the last two years and are hopeful that this Christmas will be our biggest yet.
What I’m most proud of though, is that on June 26 at 6:47 p.m., I became a mom to the all-time cutest, most wonderful baby girl on the planet. Her name is Claire.
I’d never been to Kansas City before, but my husband ended up being a Chiefs’ tight end who convinced me Kansas City was the perfect place to raise a family. In May 2014, we drove my car from Long Island, New York to Kansas City and I’ve called it home ever since.
A day in the life
If immediate gratification is possible with community betterment efforts, I have yet to experience it. Working toward the goals I’ve chosen takes perseverance. It takes spending all day working, only to spend evenings and many late nights working on things that don’t provide paychecks. It’s easy to get bored and want to skip a meeting, but that’s not how you make a difference. I’ll quote Mizzou football when I say, “Any excuse for non-performance, however valid, softens the character.” In short, I can’t stop until I can say the job that I set out to do has been done.
There is so much I want to be known for. I want to be known for being someone who doesn’t just want to make a difference, but for being a person who devotes blood, sweat and tears to ensure she does make a difference. I want to be known for helping faith-based communities teach purity in a way that retains its value without making survivors of child sexual abuse feel as if they have none. I want to be known for always working to find a middle ground with people on the other side of the aisle, so that instead of making no progress, we’ll find a place where we agree and start there. I want to be known for exemplifying Jesus and Christianity in a way that invites people and gives them hope instead of making them feel shamed or condemned. And last, I want to be known for making an unquestionable impact on sexual violence and those affected by it.
Whether it’s campus-based rape, sex trafficking, child sexual abuse or any other type of sexual assault, ending sexual violence is at the top of my to-do list. It sounds completely naive and unrealistic, because anyone can tell you “there will always be evil” in the world, but I refuse to idly stand by while girls and boys blame themselves for crimes that never should have been committed against them in the first place. Survivors deserve better than that. Survivors deserve a community that supports and believes them, so I’m going to do everything I can to ensure Kansas City sets that example for other communities.
If you wait until the time is “right”, you’re going to be waiting forever. You could always have more money, more free time and life could always have more stability. Go for it anyway.