NCVIA Directors

NATIONAL COALITION OF VICTIMS IN ACTION

THE NCVIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DEBBIE PARNHAM

Arizona

 Founder, Life Sentence, activist with youth at risk and youth in prison.

National lecturer, Conference workshop presenter.

Debbie has been actively engaged, lecturing nationwide about the murder of Brent and the goal of Life Sentence is to educate youth, parents and the public about the effects of violence and substance abuse. Life Sentence brings reality to the youth of today in a way they can understand through a Mother’s heart. Topics of discussion are Violence and Weapons, Drugs and Alcohol, Anger Management, Sexual Abuse, Forgiveness, Hope, Inner Peace, A New Sense of Self-Control, Consequences of Life, Victims’ Rights.

Debbie’s quotes

Debbie states,   “Forgiveness is a journey, a process in life. Because of the abuse and violence that I have suffered, I have made the subject of forgiveness a major part in the program. I have had the opportunity to be face to face with the young man that murdered my son Brent.  Knowing that someday Gabriel would be released from prison, I felt that the most effective way to reach this young man was through forgiving him.  In his experiencing my forgiveness, it became the critical element in reshaping and changing his heart toward myself, himself and others.  Forgiveness is the first step to reconciling ourselves to those who have hurt us.  It heals the old wounds that would rob us of our peace and releases us to love again unconditionally. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting!”

Debbie states “By supporting Life Sentence, you are helping us to continue to reach our youth.  I wished I could share with you all of the wonderful things that are happening.  I received a call last week from a young girl named Molly who attended one of our court ordered classes.  She couldn’t say enough about what this program of Life Sentence has taught her.  She even wants to bring a friend that is not even in the court system to see the program.  She thinks some of her friends could benefit from it also.  I am always amazed at how the little Spanish speaking Moms, who don’t understand a word that we are saying…somehow end up getting the message.  A lot of the time they leave crying and hurt that their son or daughter is acting out the way they are.  There are a lot of hurting families out there.  Thank you for your prayers and support.  Vision.  It is essential for survival.  It is spawned by faith, sustained by hope, sparked by imagination and strengthened by enthusiasm.”

Workshops and presentations

Debbie Parnham presents workshops nationally at conferences such as the Parents of Murdered Children, the National Organization for Victims Assistance, and the Texas Victims Clearinghouse Conferences.  She has also traveled to other states, speaking in the prisons to incarcerated youth and other youth at risk, giving them hope. Life Sentence receives support from the Mesa General Hospital, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Southport Community Center, the John C. Lincoln Hospital, Macy’s Department Store, AZ Sun Electrical Contractors, the AOC Court Programs, Basha’s Supermarket and private citizens.

Awards received by Life Sentence

Volunteer Award at Durango Detention Center, 1999.

Channel 12’s “12 Who Cares” Award, 1999.

A Peace of Life “Taking A Stand” Award, 2000.

North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Award, 2001.

Presidential “Point of Light” Award, 2002.

Recognition Awards: Attorney General’s National Victims Rights, 1996. Phoenix Police Dept. “GREAT” Program, 1998. Phoenix Police Dept. “GAIN”, 2000.  Juvenile Court Center, 2000, 2001.  City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation, 2001.  Melanie Rieger Conference for Victims, 2001.  Arizona National Guard, 2000,2001.

Membership and Affiliations

The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, The National Organization of Victims Assistance, Melanie Rieger Foundation.

Board of Directors, The National Coalition of Victims in Action

Son, Brent Lorentz murdered December 12, 1992.

Website: www.lifesentence.org


 

KERSTIN FEIST

California

Founder, The Karla Zimmerman Memorial Foundation, and works with Gun Violence and Teens, (GAT) launched in November, 1994.

Conference workshop presenter on Gun Safety among teens.

GAT Program Information

The Gat Program is an awareness and prevention program to help eliminate youth gun violence by educating the community, specifically young people and their families about the consequences-medical, legal and emotional-of youth gun possession and related gun violence.

GAT is a youth gun-violence awareness and prevention program.  GAT works to prevent youth gun violence by educating students about the legal, medical and consequences of gun possession and related gun violence.

GAT is designer for Middle School Students.  The GAT Program has been developed locally through the support and collaboration of the District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Public Safety, the Sheriff’s Department, the School District, the Office of Education, the Medical Association and many other physicians and other health care professionals in the community.  With the support of community leaders and professionals—our goal is to reach every Middle School Student (and older) in the entire Bay Area, throughout California and across the Nation.

GAT is presented in an assembly setting for a one hour session with follow-up in the classroom as well as at home.  The interactive presentation teams consist of a police officer, a prosecuting attorney, with a physician or other medical professional.  Presenters show slides as they take the students through case scenarios, which include pictures of real medical injuries; they also tell personal stories related to their jobs.  Whenever possible, other people, especially young people whose lives have been personally touched by gun violence will be included. The team teaches the students about the consequences of gun possession and related violence. The curriculum encourages young people to consider the options available to them in situations involving guns.  The presenters also discuss the choices the students can make to avoid violence.  By the end of the program the presenter has raised dozens of questions and the students have responded with many of their own. The program is intended not just to help adolescents think ahead about what to do if they are confronted by the risk of gun violence.  It is also intended to give them the sense of security that their peers have also been exposed to this critical information and that their peers and their parents are more likely to make good choices as a result of this.

Since the program was launched in November 1994, over 12,000 young people have spoken been spoken to about the topic of gun violence.  The program is part of a multi-pronged approach toward youth violence. As a result, there has been a dramatic decrease in youth gun possession and gun violence, both in schools and in communities.  The GAT Program has been replicated in Oklahoma City, and is now required in all Oklahoma middle schools as well as Virginia Beach and state wide across Virginia.

An additional benefit of the program has been the development of strong partnerships between the Police Department and a wide variety of community organizations. Community partnerships are imperative and have led to the success of the GAT Program. To date, GAT has reached over 16,800 Middle School students.

GAT is sponsored by the Karla Zimmerman Memorial Foundation and supported by the following: Million Mom March, Governor Gray Davis, Senator Don Perata, Healthy Start, Arnold Swarzenegger/Prop. 49, Richmond Mayor Corbin, N.A.A.C.P., Family and Friends of murder Victims, CA Safe and Drug Free Schools, Polly Klaas Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, and the Police Departments and Emergency Hospitals in the cities of San Francisco, Richmond, Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Hayward, San Jose and Seattle.

Workshops, conferences and presentations

Kerstin Feist established The Karla Zimmerman Foundation, after the murder of her best friend and partner, Karla.  She joined forces with “Dr. Jim” LeMesurier, and they solely researched the entire United States for groups and programs that were in effect and successful.  They traveled several hundreds of miles to participate, observe and gather information to develop their own program to bring into the schools around the San Francisco Bay Area, and eventually to spread throughout the United States.  They first established the program in Sonoma County, CA. After  the program was up and running, “Dr. Jim” moved to Canada and turned the program over  to Kerstin Feist, with his blessing to spread beyond the schools where they first got started.

Kerstin then brought the GAT Program to Richmond, CA where Karla was killed.

Kerstin Feist has been a workshop presenter at the National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA) Conferences since 2000, California schools, has assisted at Fight Crime: Invest in Kids workshops and presentations at NOVA Conference,  member of Million Mom March, CA Safe & Drug Free Schools, Healthy Start, Family & Friends of Murder Victims, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, San Francisco Foundation, and is a member of the Board of  Directors of the National Coalition of Victims in Action, founded in the Fall of  2004.

GAT Goals

The goal of GAT is to have the GAT Program up and running in as many of the Bay Area schools as possible over the years.  Kerstin and her team make presentations throughout the local counties as soon as such requests can be scheduled.  Presentation and trainings can be scheduled anywhere in the United States.

To set a date to have a presentation of the GAT Program to groups in your area, or to find out dates for attending a presentation or observe a class session in nearby areas, or for more information about the program, contact the GAT Program Director, Kerstin Feist at 1-510-524-5483, Email – kf4kidz@sbcglobal.net.  Get Involved in GAT, It’s Up To You!

Career

Kerstin Feist is a professional graphic artist with a long career history of over 20 years.  After the murder of her best friend and partner, she has dedicated her life to making this a better world for all, especially free of gun violence. She has lived and worked in the country of Sweden and spends time there with her relatives.

Membership and Affiliations

The National Organization for Victims Assistance, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Board of Directors, The National Coalition of Victims in Action

Partner, Karla Zimmerman, murdered April 22, 1997


 

SHIRLEY AND LARRY BOSTROM

Connecticut

SHIRLEY PIERCE BOSTROM

In memoriam Shirley Bostrom passed away on July 6, 2014. She was a passionate spokesperson for the issue of crime in America and wrote powerfully about the causes of  and the need for efforts to prevent crime. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her husband Larry and the Bostrom family.

Author, “Funny, He Doesn’t Look Like a Murderer, But Margie is Dead”.

Shirley is Vice-President, Programs, Connecticut Alliance for Victims of Violence and Their Families support group and on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  Conference presenter at National Organization for Victim Assistance(NOVA), Parents of Murdered Children (POMC), the Melanie Rieger Conference, and the Texas Victims Clearinghouse Conference, and the United States Department of Justice.

Workshops are “Funny—He Doesn’t Look Like a Murderer” and “Pain—Pen—Pad”.

In June of 1996, Shirley retired from teaching and on August 16, 1996, her daughter Margaret became the victim of intimate partner homicide.  As a part of the healing process Shirley sought a way to give Margaret’s death meaning; and thus the workshops were written and are being presented.

The Book

This mother’s painful story alerts others to danger of intimate partner homicide.  Here is what people are saying after reading Shirley’s book.  “Shirley Bostrom’s account of her daughter’s murder is a chilling saga that needs to be told.  While the subject does not make for an easy read, I consider it a necessary one.  Shirley’s painful experience reminds us of how little we can take for granted and how much we need to stay alert for signs of danger in the relationships of those we love.”— C. Leslie Charles, author of Why Is Everyone So Cranky?

In this book, Shirley shares the struggle of she and her husband Larry and their family attempt to heal after the horrific death of Margie, hot they deal with the criminal justice system, fighting to keep Margie’s murderer behind bars, how they discover what it means to live a “normal” life again, and how they have become powerful advocates against domestic violence. Shirley shares her family’s head-on collision with the tragic results of domestic violence, dispelling the myth that this doesn’t happen in middle-class, educated families.  She courageously tells of the permanent grief that has come to define her own life as she strives to give meaning to Margie’s death and keep her memory alive.

Education

Shirley graduated from Bob Jones University and received her Masters Degree at the State University of New York, as well as additional credits in writing, special education, special education, administration and psychology.  A retired teacher of 32 years, she was named Windsor Locks, Connecticut, teacher of the year in 1992. She is a teacher and consultant for the Connecticut Writing Project.

LARRY J. BOSTROM

Vice President of Administration, Connecticut Alliance for Victims of Violence and their Families.

Serves on the Advisory committee for Connecticut Office of Victims Services.  Committee work to start an intimate partner fatality review team in Connecticut.

Larry received a B.S. Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Masters Degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Hartford Graduate Center.) Worked for Hamilton  (Standard) Sundstrand, a division of United Technologies in 1992. Prior to that, he taught high school for six years. Larry, an electrical engineer, retired and enjoyed a “normal” retirement until his daughter, Margaret, was murdered by her husband on August 16, 1996. To help cope with Margaret’s murder, he participates in his wife Shirley’s workshop, “Funny—He Doesn’t Look Like a Murderer” by describing the death notification and murder details.  In her “Pain—Pen—Pad”   workshop he shows how writing can help those not blessed with writing skills.  He speaks at national conferences, prisons, schools and colleges.

Another quote by a reader who respects their bold approach to healing:

“Shirley and Larry have taken a bold and proactive approach to combat victimization. They have turned grief into a life-altering lesson for offenders. Through their VOICES program, Victim Offender Institutional Correctional Education Services, the Bostrom’s vividly detail to inmate audiences the impact of homicide on the victim’s family. Their message to offenders is simple yet powerful, when you’re released stop before you act, think of the options and choose one that is non-violent. They have my respect, appreciation and admiration”…John Armstrong, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Corrections

Memberships and Affiliations Parents of Murdered Children, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, the National Organization for Victims Assistance, Board of Directors, the National Coalition of Victims in Action

The Bostrom’s daughter, Margaret Bostrom, murdered August 16, 1996

Website: www.intimatepartnermu


 

DEBRA PUGLISI SHARP

Delaware

Debra has lived every woman’s worst nightmare. As she tended roses in her garden in April of 1998, a factory worker with a cocaine habit slipped through an open door. When her husband returned from work, he was shot to death and his body hidden in the master bedroom. Debra, upon later entering their home, was bludgeoned, raped and abducted by her husband’s murderer. Over a period of 101 hours, Debra was repeatedly raped and held captive until her escape on the fifth day.

Debra has written a book, “Shattered: Reclaiming a Life Torn Apart By Violence” about her terrible experience. The book is an indelible portrait of hope, determination and the agonizing journey back to life. Struggling to heal from her horrendous ordeal and the devastating loss of her husband, Debra has also had to endure an agonizing court trial, the raw grief of her children and her own crippling fear. This is truly a compelling story — tragic and heroic — and it represents an attempt to make sense of a senseless crime.

Debra speaks at conferences all over the USA and makes a powerful argument for the rights of crime victims. She has appeared on Oprah, Montel, Then John Walsh show and other national and regional talk shows. In April of 2000 Debra was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Crime victims Rights week in Atlantic City, N.J., where more than 450 crime victims social service providers and law enforcement personnel sat in stunned silence as they listened to the actual 911n emergency call and Debra’s speech.

Debra is continuing to take her story all over the country, talking about the pain, anger, grief and despair that is the legacy of violent crime. She openly discusses the 101 hours of captivity in the home of  her husband’s murderer, the rapes and her subsequent escape. In her speeches, Debra describes how she now lives as a survivor. Her audiences will learn…

  • how cognitive behavioral therapy can benefit victims diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • understand the reality of calling 911 from land line telephones versus cellular phones
  • become educated on the role of forensic nurses in the Emergency Room
  • hear how one can move on with relationships after rape
  • leave with the inspiration to survive after personal tragedy

Her web site is www.puglisisharp.com .


 

PAT TUTHILL
Florida

National Activist Interstate Compact for the Supervision of Adult Offenders (ICAOS) (HTTP://www.adultcompact.org/) , lecturer, Conference workshop presenter regarding support for new legislation for monitoring and supervising parolees and probationers who move across state lines.

Pat Tuthill left her previous career as an executive to lobby full time for this new legislation. She has personally visited states, spoke at national legislative conferences, telephone and emailed legislators, governors and correctional officials throughout the country. Pat Tuthill championed this news law under the leadership of Executive Director, Don Blackburn and ICAOS Chair, David Guntharp, Arkansas Commissioner.  The new law was passed in June 2002 and went into effect August 1, 2004.  It strengthens and replaces an outdated and “toothless” 1937 law with one that has sole statutory authority recognized by the courts to control and estimated 250,000 parolees and probationers who move state-to-state. The new law added new opportunities for victims and their families to be notified and to comment on the movement of parolees and probationers, due in large part to Pat’s effort and persistence.  “The sacrifices we made as we supported the new compact at times were overwhelming, but you and Peyton were the reason we kept going on.  Yours and our journey was long and hard but worth it.” – Don Blackburn, Executive Director, ICAOS.

Pat’s Quotes

Pat states “I now refer  to myself as a survivor of homicide and have found passion, purpose and hope in my commitment to promote public safety and protect the rights of victims through public awareness, education, legislation, accountability and most of all working with our children and youth..”  “When we face tragedy of whatever kind and degree we must slowly learn how to face our adversity and circumstances.  Victims of crime come from all different backgrounds and races and so do offenders.  If you are a victim, survivor, or family member or friend of someone who has been victimized, be patient.  Logic and rational behavior is not possible at times.  We deal with fear, anger, sadness, pain, depression anxiety, loss and grief. If you are in law enforcement, judiciary, criminal justice or an allied professional, please listen and allow victims to vent and express their feelings. Through my own personal experiences, I found those who treated me with compassion and allowed me to vent and did not take my rage as a personal attack became my mentors, champions and advocates in my fight for justice and change”

Organizations and Boards

*Victims Representative, Interstate Compact Adult Offender supervision, National Commission

*Victim Representative, Florida State Council for the ICAOS (non-paid appointment by Governor Jeb Bush

*American Parole and Probation Association Victim Issues Committee

*Offender Re-entry Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Dept. of Labor, and U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.  “Charting the Safe and Successful Return of Prisoners to the Community” Pat was quoted on the back cover of the report preview along with the following: John Ashcroft, U.S. Attorney General, 2000-2004, Senator Edward Kennedy, MA, Chuck Colson, Founder Prison Fellowship, Reginald Wilkinson, Director, Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction, Senator Sam Brownback, KS.

*Victims’ Representative Parole and Probation Compact Administrators Association

*Florida Network of Victim Witness Services Board of Directors, Co-chair of 2005 Florida Victims’ Rights Week

*Okaloosa County Domestic Violence Steering Committee

*Compassionate Friends

*Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

*National Organization for Victim Assistance

*Parents of Murdered Children

*Board of Directors, National Coalition of Victims in Action

In addition to these positions she shares expertise with other victims’ and criminal justice organizations.

Daughter, Stephanie Lynn “Peyton” Tuthill, murdered February 24, 1999

Website: www.peytontuthill.orgwww.reentrypolicy.org


 

ELAINE AND GORDON RONDEAU
Georgia

FoundersThe Renee Olubunmi Rondeau Peace Foundation(RORPF), 501© 3 dedicated to crime prevention.

Action Americans, Murder Must End Now! and the National Coalition of Victims in Action are programs of the RORPF.

Chair persons,  Metro-Atlanta Violence Prevention Coalition and Metro Atlanta Day Without Violence, served as Chairs 1995-1999.   Elaine served on the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles Victim Advisory Panel.

Gordon and Elaine, founders, The Community Cares Town Hall meetings, Billboard campaign to examine Parole in Georgia.

Contributing editorials, reports and articles to major newspapers and national crime victims’ newsletters regarding on crime and violence, such as the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Marietta Daily Journal, The University of Massachusetts Alumnae magazine, The Crime Victims Report.

Public Awareness

Lectures, presentations and planning committees: The Carter Center, President Jimmy Carter’s America Project Conference, “Promising Practices: Communities Investing in Adolescents” 1998. The Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University Discussions, “Youth and Deadly Weapons”, 1995-1998. “Breaking the Cycle of Youth Violence” Conference with Rollins School of Public Health, Parole Board and National Campaign for an Effective Crime Policy, 1996. The Community Resources and Crime Prevention Conference, “Outsmart Crime”, Augusta State University, Augusta, Ga., 1999.  Civic clubs, Rotary, Golden Kiwanis, Mother’s groups.  Augusta State University Criminal Justice Department, college classroom lecture on crime and violence, 1998.

Initiators and planners: The Metro Atlanta Day Without Violence,  with The Atlanta Project and the Carter Center, 1997.

Conferences

Initiated Public Awareness Town Hall Meetings, a series of “Community Cares” sessions with metro-Atlanta law enforcement, Judges, victims and survivors and citizens, 1995-1998.  Awareness campaign, March on Chicago with five car police escort, 1995, 1996.

Initiated National Victims’ Rights Week Press Conferences and Victim Tribute Receptions and Banquets, 1995-1998.

Participation in National Crime Victims’ Rights Week activities, Washington, D.C. with Office of Victims of Crime, 2004.

Initiation of “Letters to Leaders” Campaign, 1995-1999.

Initiated Proclamation to Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago, for challenge on crime prevention, 1995.

Led campaign to find murderers of Renee Olubunmi Rondeau, Chicago, Illinois, 1994 to 1995.

Initiated press conferences, articles, documentaries related to murder in Chicago. 1994 to 1998.

Work with CAPS, the Chicago Alternative Police Service, crime prevention and victims’ services, 1994-1997.

Press conferences in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, Marietta, Georgia, and other parts of Georgia and Chicago, Illinois from 1994-2005.

Advocacy for crime victims rights, gun safety legislation, juvenile justice, child abuse prevention and other legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia.

Victims service and assistance work.

Activists, United States Constitutional Victims Rights Amendment with national Force 100.

National Crime Victims Rights Week Victim Impact presentations and initiators of Victim Tribute Reception and Press Conferences.

Technical assistance training for victims at conference, Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

Conference presenters at National Organization for Victims Assistance,  the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Minnesota Crime Victims Conference, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia, the Texas Clearinghouse Victims Conference, The Carter Center, the Rollins School of Public Health, Augusta State University, the Comprehensive Alternative Medical Association, and the Concerned .

Planning board for conference at Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, “Youth and Deadly Weapons”

Board of Directors and Planning committee for People Pedaling Peace, bike ride for youth violence prevention, 2002-2004.

National Victim Outreach Coordinators, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 1996-2004, Champions for Children National Award, 2004.

Members, Murder Victims Families for Human Rights

Board of Advisors and contributing reporters, The Crime Victims Report, 2001 to present.

Media Appearances

Brief interviews on local, state and national television regarding the murder of their daughter, NBC, ABC, CBS affiliates, 1994-98

Rondeau Crime Victim/Suspect, NBC, Chicago, 2/8/95

The Austin Rhodes Radio Show, one hour special, examining the causes of crime in America, WGAC Radio,

Augusta, Ga. 1995

The Sean Baker Radio Show, New Hampshire, 30 minute interview, 1995

The “Daybreak” Television Show, An Examination of Causes of Violence, Parole and Victimization, featuring the Rondeaus, Action Americans, Murder Must End Now. Three, one hour specials, on PAX, Public T.V., Georgia, 1995, 1996

Press Conferences in Washington, D.C.  “Crime Survivors Speak Out”, WGN News, and other national networks, broadcast from D.C., from 1996 to 2004

Community Cares, National Crime Victims Rights Week, Channel 11, WXIA, NBC, 1996

The Gordon Elliott Show, Home Invasion, New York City, 2/25/97

The Jerry Springer Show, full one hour devoted to the Rondeau case, Chicago, Illinois, 3/12/ 97

Metro-Atlanta Day Without Violence, Joyce Oscar, News Anchor, WSB-channel 2, 10/25/97

Coverage of Metro-Atlanta Day Without Violence, 10/25/97 Monika Kaufman News anchor (Top Story of the Day), Atlanta, Ga.  10/25/1997

Talk Back Live Television Talk Show, CNN, Special audience guests on three segments, examining school and youth violence, school shootings, Jonesboro, Columbine and Paducah, 1998-2000

Author of   “Apartment Complex Safety and Security”, Gordon Rondeau, a concept paper that led to numerous media exposes related to that subject in 1998

Georgia Public Television, The Politics of Punishment, 1/20/98 Trinity Broadcasting Network,(TBN), affiliated of the Reverend Robert Schuller show, 15 minute on special featuring Rondeaus’ discussion of founding of Action Americans, Murder Must End Now! and  causes of crime, 6/1/ 1998

America’s Voice, America Takes Action,  National Cable Network, Peter Barnes,  Washington, D.C., Congressional Juvenile Justice Bill, full 30 minutes, guests Elaine and Gordon Rondeau and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids President, Sanford Newman, 7/8/99

“A Man’s Grief”, 30 minute television special, featuring guest Gordon Rondeau, “Man to Man”, November, 19, 2003

Awards:

The “Bringing Hope to a Culture of Violence” Award from Catholic Social Services of Atlanta Diocese and Sister Helen Prejean, June 1, 1998

The “Champions for Children” National Award, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Washington, D.C. 2004.

Recognition and resolution:  For work in public awareness for “stemming the tide of violence in our nation”, Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, 1997

Resolution: Illinois State House of Representatives condemning the murder of Renee Olubunmi Rondeau, April 1995

Proclamations presented to Action Americans: Murder Must End Now! (501©3)  for initiation of awareness about crime and violence and crime prevention by the Metro-Atlanta Violence Prevention Coalition from Mayor’s Office of Atlanta, City Council of Atlanta, DeKalb County Commission, Cobb County Commission, Fulton County Commission, 1997.

Book recognition: Appeared in book by Dr. Paul Hahn, renowned crime prevention lecturer, Ohio.

Gordon serves on Board of Directors, National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA)

Education: Elaine- B.S. degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Massachusetts, and an M.A. degree in Political Science and International Relations, University of Southern California, European campus, Frankfurt, Germany. She has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria, West Africa, a youth Extension Service worker, and a Program Officer in Community Development for the United States

Agency for International Development, U.S. Dept. of State, in co-operation with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

Gordon –B.S. degree in Mathematics and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Has completed numerous hours in

International Business, Administration, and Computers over a 30 year period. Active Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria, West Africa, employed by the General Electric Company as a computer programmer for two years, by IBM for 28 years in the positions of computer programmer, systems engineer, marketing specialist and consultant, overseas consultant for the Pentagon with NATO/SHAPE in Europe and with UPS, as an International analyst.

Membership and Affiliations for Crime Prevention

Affiliated with, initiated,  participated in events, marches and rallies with Georgians United Against Gun Violence, Million Mom  March, Kids Alive and Loved, Georgia State Board of  Pardons and Paroles, Georgians for Equal Justice, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia, Cobb County Office of the District Attorney, Office of the Superior Court Judge of Cobb County, Marietta Sheriff’s Department,  Cobb County Police Department, Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q Community Cares Events, the New World Society of Atlanta, Victory Over Violence, Coalition of Concerned Africans, Georgia Emergency Management Association, Stand for Children, the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, and the National Organization for Victims Assistance, Voices for Illinois Children, Cobb Collaborative of Cobb County, Georgia, the Metro-Atlanta Violence Prevention Coalition, Emory  University’s Rollins  School of Public Health, The Carter Center’s America Project Conference, The Urban Training Organization of Atlanta, Gordon Rondeau-Vice President and Board of Directors, Initiator of “Midnight Basketball” in the Atlanta area, an after-school program founded by best friend, G. Van Standifer, of Maryland, A.N.D.R.E.W. (America’s Nightmare Due (to  as well as many other local, state and national committees related to crime prevention and victims assistance.

Daughter Renee Olubunmi  Rondeau, murdered, October 31, 1994  Website: www.rorpf.org


 

BARBARA THURMOND
IN MEMORIAM

We shall miss our dear friend and mentor, Barbara Thurmond, who passed away after a lingering illness in August, 2006. Barbara’s organization, Blacks Against Black Crime, had just received the National Organization for Victim Assistance’s Tadini Bacigalupi Award as a Program of Distinction. We will continue to carry Barbara’s name in our list of Board members, knowing that she will always be with us in spirit.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

 

Co-FounderBlacks Against Black Crime, Inc.,  Augusta, Georgia, 1991, with her sister, Earnestine Covington,  an organization  formed to address the epidemic of black on black violence in August/Richmond County, Georgia. The BABC was formed to raise public awareness concerning the epidemic of black on black violence and assess the causes and contributing factors which lead to the high incidence of black on black crime. BABC serves a dual purpose; it is the only Victims Rights Organization in Augusta, Ga., advocating for all victims of crime regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status or religious affliliations. Supporting victims’ families in their negotiations with the criminal justice system is one of the many services provided by BABC.  Prevention is also an important purpose of BABC.

The “Think Bigger” program, a component of BABC, “unleashes the potential for excellence” among blacks and black youths, and is a combination of Conflict Resolution, Drug Awareness, Parenting, and African-American history.  The Think Bigger program was patterned after the book, Think Big”, by Dr. Ben Carson, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, John Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.

Barbara has served as President of BABC since 1991.

Barbara’s quotes

Even before the murder of her stepdaughter, and the murder of the Philonda Howard, the daughter of her dear friend and neighbor, Mr. Frank Howard, and the beginning of Blacks Against Black Crime, Inc, Barbara was very concerned about the conditions of violence in the United States.  As a nurse, she stated the following “In the 1980’s, “crack cocaine” hit the streets of America, bringing with it a dramatic increase in violent crime involving guns.  In 1991 in Richmond County, Augusta, Ga., where I live “in the hood” by choice and design, we had the highest homicide rate ever recorded. Ninety-seven percent of those homicide victims were blacks killed by other blacks.”

“We understood early on that black on black violence was bigger than one brother killing another. One of the many facts we identified was the injustice and double standards of the criminal justice system.”

“Ten years ago, BABC dared to dream of a world in which all crime victims and their families are treated with compassion and dignity.”

“The media has severely damaged the African American image. It desensitizes young people to violence and death and it continues to glamorize illegitimacy.”

“Is there a connection between the disproportionate number of blacks assigned to special education and the disproportionate number of black male victimizers?”

“I “live in the hood” and when I want to find out what is going on in a situation of conflict, I know who my contacts are.  They trust me and I trust them.”

“All children will grow up in an environment made better through adequate medical care, child care and education in supportive and responsible families free from poverty, abuse and crime”.(For complete text of Barbara’s philosophy, strategy and comments, please go to http://home.bellsouth.net/s/community, Message from the President, Blacks Against Black Crime)

Author, “Joy In My Heart: My Journey from Hopelessness to Happiness”

This book provides the reader with a look inside the mind of a young woman who is devastated by the diagnosis of spinal cancer.  The collection of daily entries from her personal journal will leave the reader stunned at the depth of pain brought on by shattered dreams and lost hope. The strength of young children is exemplary, as they are forced to temporarily abandon their dreams and bear the burden of their mother’s pending death.  They go on to become productive adults in spite of the many challenges they had to overcome.  Day by day and year by year the book enjoins you the shared experience of a journey that begins with unimaginable pain and ends with unfathomable joy.  The strength, courage, faith and determination of this woman will gird your understanding of overcoming long after reading this book.  Available from 1st Books.com or Amazon.com.

(Note: In spite of her catastrophic illness, Ms. Thurmond has worked diligently and with great heart and soul, giving her time to working toward solutions to crime and violence. She has devoted over 14 years to working in the community, being a voice for victims and survivors, obtaining the attention of those who work in criminal justice, even though she has been confined to doing all of her work from a wheel chair.)

Awards

Essence Award by Essence Magazine.  Selected as one of five women in the U.S. as “women who go above and beyond” based upon community involvement and volunteerism

*National Award for Outstanding Service to the Community from the National Council of Negro Women and Quaker Oats, 2002

Career 

A nurse by profession, Barbara medically retired from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York City, at the age of 34 as a result of a catastrophic illness that left her confined to a wheelchair for over 20 years and then began the important work of Blacks Against Black Crimes, Inc. in 1991

Memberships and Affiliations

Tabernacle Baptist Church, Augusta, Georgia, Black Heritage Commission, Augusta, Georgia, CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) Girl Scouts Brownie leader, Handgun Control, Inc., Washington, D.C., Partnership for Community Health, Beaulah Grove Resource Center Advisory Board, Walton’s Opinions for Independent Living Board, The MORE Organization, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Member of Able/Disabled, Association of Georgians with Disabilities, August Richmond County Community Partnership for Families and Children, Public Safety Committee, Community Trust Initiative Co-chair, Local (Augusta, Ga.) Steering Committee Chairperson for Tools for Change, Southeast Community Research Center, Atlanta, Georgia, Million Mom March, Inc. /Participation in marches and radio interview, Georgians United Against Gun Violence, Board of Directors, National Coalition of Victims in Action

Stepdaughter, Tina Thurmond, murdered September 1987, Website: (Blacks Against Black Crimes, Inc. can be found at)

http://home.bellsouth.net/s/community.dll?ep=16&groupid=144&ck=


 

JENNIFER & BILL JENKINS
Illinois

Jennifer & Jennifer 

BILL JENKINS

 Author  “What to Do When the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss”, which has sold over 16,000 copies  internationally, and is an acclaimed book,  with a foreword by Patricia Cornell.

Bill’s Quotes Bill states the following in the Author’s note: “After being notified of the shooting death of my sixteen year-old son late one night in August 1997, I came to realized several important things.  One is that tragedy can strike anyone, anywhere, at anytime, and requires no special qualification or application process.  Another is that my family and I desperately  wanted  some guidance through the first days of our loss, but none seemed to be available which could give us the help we needed.  As a result, we muddled through  as  best we could, as most people do, with some successful and some not so successful decisions being made.  After meeting the very fine people in our local Victim/Witness Program some days later and attending the victims of homicide support group which the program sponsors, we compared notes and came up with a solution.  With input from the group and others, I would write a book which could be given to families during death notifications. This book would not answer every question, nor would it be an exhaustive study of grief.  Instead, it would be a handbook to get people through the first days, help them understand what was happening to their bodies and minds, and inform them of what to expect until more resources became available. More importantly, it would be easy to read and understand so that it would be helpful to as many people as possible. One of the things which I decided the very first day after William’s death was that I wanted only good things to come out of this tragedy.  I can now say that there are many good things which outnumber this one bad thing.  And thought I would trade them all to have him back with us safe and sound, it is my hope and prayer that this book will be one more triumph of good over evil and order over chaos, and that it will  in some way help you as  you  begin your walk with grief. I wish you peace.” Bill Jenkins, Father of William Benjamin Jenkins (1980-1987)

Bill has been a speaker for countless organizations, large and small, since his son’s murder in 1997, and works regularly as an instructor for the Virginia Institute for Forensic Science and Medicine and other government agencies, training officials who work with victims of crime.  His work with the Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) was featured in the national televised documentary, Dateline, broadcast on Dateline: NBC in July 2004. Bill presents workshops on death notification techniques nationally, as well as workshops on various victims’ issues with the National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA), The Compassionate Friends (TCF), Fight  Crime: Invest in Kids (FCIK), and the Parents of Murdered Children (POMC).  He also serves on the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department’s Victim Advisory Board.  Bill’s testimony for after school violence prevention programs before the Illinois State Legislature was cited as pivotal in winning over a million dollars in funding for Teen REACH programs statewide. Bill is Technical Director for the theater program at Dominican University, a designer for the Theater Conservatory at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and has taught at the University level for over 15 years.

Son William Benjamin Jenkins murdered August 12, 1997.  Bill’s website: www.willsworld.com

JENNIFER BISHOP-JENKINS

 Field Director, Illinois, Minnesota, Brady Campaign.

Served as National Board Chair for, Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation and on the Board for six years. She also serves on the board of the Illinois Coalition against the Death Penalty and serves as the Illinois State President for the gun violence prevention organization, Million Mom March, Brady Campaign. Among numerous awards, co-recipient with her sister, Jeanne Bishop, Bridgid Award given by “Concern Worldwide”, in recognition of compassionate, humanitarian, and reconciliation work by women in the Chicago area.  Jennifer has also been selected as the lone American woman in a field of ten outstanding women peace and justice activists worldwide about whom a documentary series called The Fifth World, by a Canadian Production Company, scheduled to begin filming sometime in 2005Jennifer’s work against the Death Penalty was noted by former Illinois Governor and Nobel peace Prize nominee George Ryan and on January 11, 2003, when he made the momentous step of commuting all the death sentences to life without parole on Illinois’ death row, due to the flawed system and its impact on victims, her input was included in his speech.

Jennifer has been a lifelong activist and has the following to her credits and accomplishments:

Amnesty International-Organizer for young people, trainer of teachers for implementing Human Rights in the classrooms.

Speaker with other Human Rights luminaries such as Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking), the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Singer/songwriter Steve Earle, Actor Mike Farrell (M.A.S.H.) and Civil Rights legend Mamie Till Mobley.

Appearances, Interviews and Featured subject in magazines and newspapers: “Too Flawed To Fix” (Peace Productions), Emmy-winning documentary on the death penalty. Cover Story, Chicago Tribune Magazine cover story, May 2001, “To Forgive Divine?” Chicago Tribune columns, featuring Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, by Tribune writer, Eric Zorn. Spokesperson for MoveOn.org at bookstore events promoting political grass-roots activism for progressive social change. Author of article: “The Fourth R”, national Human Rights publication for teachers. Jennifer’s story and work featured in several books on the Death Penalty and crime victims, including “Don’t Kill in Our Names”, (Rutgers Press) by Rachel King. Participated in an “amicus brief” submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court for the October 2004 Simmons case addressing the Juvenile Death Penalty in the U.S. Visitor to Illinois’ death row with ICADP since 1994.Effective voice for prison conditions with the Department of Corrections; initiator for reconciliation and restorative justice encounters with several death row inmates and their victims’ families and assisted in making contact with victims and inmates. Wrote foreword for recently published book of prisoners’ essays on personal responsibility and transformation, “Lockdown Prison Heart”, the proceeds which benefit Murder Victims Families for Human Rights.

Education: B.A. in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University; M.S. in History from Illinois State University, and is currently completing another M.A. in Educational Administration from Dominican University. Teacher for more than 20 years and recipient of outstanding teacher awards. Served as Assistant Principal for Academics at St. Scholastic Academy in Chicago, before assuming her responsibilities as Field Director for the Brady Campaign.

Jennifer’s sister, Nancy Langert, her husband Richard Langert and their unborn child, murdered April 7, 1990

Website: www.murdervictimsfamilies.org Jennifer and Bill Jenkins are founding board members and prominent activists, Murder Victims Families for Human Rights, created after the Second World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Montreal, Canada and launched at the United Nations on Human Rights Day, 2004.  Jennifer and Bill speak frequently all over the nation at conferences, the media, universities and schools, and civic organizations, often serving as members of Amnesty International’s Speakers Bureau.  Bill has been a keynote speaker for the National Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Jennifer has been a keynote speaker at several conferences on the Death Penalty and Restorative Justice.  They have spoken effectively with politicians and have lobbied for many human rights issues for the Cook County Juvenile Court, trying to help turn the lives of troubled youth. Both are published Op/Ed writers and they were featured speakers on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for the “Halt The Assault” Million Mom March in Washington, D.C. on Mother’s Day 2004, televised nationally on C-SPAN.


 

MARIA EARLY
Louisiana 

Founder, Peace Train Gardens-Concept for Peace & Harmony. Trained facilitator, Victim/Offender Dialogue

Private Nurse.

Maria Early sincerely believes in early intervention for crime prevention. She says that she wishes that she had known more about the circumstances of the upbringing and the childhood of her daughter’s murderer, and that perhaps she could have done something to help him, which perhaps, would have eliminated his life of perpetrating violence. She states that man’s inhumanity to man has created too much of the violence and that a main goal for humans to concentrate upon is find inner peace. “If we work for prevention that is the only way to avoid the pain that may be caused by violence.  Punishment does not remove the pain of the loss of a loved one, and prevention may prevent another parent, Mother and Father, from experiencing the pain of violence and loss of a loved one to murder,” states Maria.  The Peace Train Garden Project is an idea that she conceived where the gardens will spread from town to town, city to city and give people the hope for peace. Recently facilitated second dialogue in the state.

Memberships and Affiliations: Children’s’ Bureau, “Survive”, an adult support group for survivors of homicide victims, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Parents of Murdered Children, Board of Directors, The National Coalition of Victims in Action

Daughter, Carmen Shargois, murdered August 23, 1995.


 

SHARON BOYER
Ohio

Sharon Boyer

Victim Service Director, State of Ohio Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Office, 1995-2003, after the murder of her son, Kevin Lamont… Retired from this position, Activist, public speaker, Victim Advocate. Served on 28 state and national committees relating to victim services and the criminal justice system.

Victim representative on Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, 1992-2003. As Victim Representative, Sharon contributed to substantial changes in the overall felony, misdemeanor, victim, and juvenile laws in the state of Ohio. She is a founding member of three national victim organizations.

Sharon’s Quotes

In serving on numerous criminal justice/victim related committees, my biggest frustration is that we tend to forget the actual victims. For victims who have created programs or work with victims issues, we have to remember to speak the language of the untapped victims. It should be clearly understood by a victim that, for example, feels hopelessly alone but wants to do something to make a difference for other victims and heal the wounds of their victimization.  We need to reach out to the victims that we were before we became active…the victims that feel that no one cares and don’t know where to begin to start to find a sense of normalcy in their lives again. We all know that “keeping busy” is the best medicine.  We’ve also found that assisting other victims and fighting for justice is the medicine that we need to make us feel that our loved ones’ life was not in vain or that we can live beyond our victimization and we eventually are blessed with the peace of knowing that you can join together with a second family of people (victims and survivors) who not only know and understand you but they believe in you.”

Awards

Outstanding Achievement The remarkable growth of the victims’ field over the past 25 years is due to the vision, action, and leadership of countless individuals and programs whose efforts have improved the lives of crime victims.  Each year, the Office of

Victims of Crime of the United States combs the Nation for people and groups that have made outstanding contributions to the field of crime victims’ rights and services.  These individuals, many of whom are crime victims themselves, serve as role models and a source of inspiration for thousands working in the field.  They symbolize the creativity, dedication, and hope that the field embraces. OVC organizes two awards ceremonies each ears: the prestigious National Crime Victim Service Awards, the highest federal honor for victim advocacy; and the Crime Victims Fund Award, which recognizes federal employees whose work increases deposits into the Crime Victims Fund, which provides millions of dollars in federal funding for crime victim services.  Sharon Boyer is among the recipients.

1999 National Crime Victim Service Award Recipient

Sharon McClain-Boyer has been active in the victims’ rights movement and violence prevention since the murder of her youngest son, Kevin, in September, 1990. In 1992, she was appointed to the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission as a victim representative to reform the state’s felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile laws.  Her leadership helped secure a number of important measures for victims in Ohio.  In 1995, Ms. McClain-Boyer became the Administrator of the Ohio Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division.  Under her leadership, Ohio has nearly doubled the number of victim-related grants it gives and was one of the first states in the Nation to implement a computerized statewide victim notification program.

Presidential award from President Bill Clinton.

The Marlene Young Award from the National Organization for Victim Assistance, 2004 presented at the National Organization for Victim Assistance Conference, Sacramento, CA.

Memberships and Affiliations

THE Ohio Council on Victims Justice, Ex-Officio member. The National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA). The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC). Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.  Board of Directors, The National Coalition of Victims in Action.

 Son, Kevin Lamont, murdered September 3, 1990


 

LORRAINE REED WHOBERRY
Ohio

Lorraine (on right) and daughter, Kristie

Lorraine Reed Whoberry was born and raised in Texas and currently resides with her husband, Richard, daughter Kristie and two step daughters, Kayla and Kellie, in Cincinnati Ohio.

While residing in Manassas Virginia, our family suffered an unimaginable, horrific tragedy. On January 29, 1999, my two daughters, Stacie age 16 and Kristie, 14 years of age were brutally attacked in our home. Stacie was murdered and Kristie was left for dead, after being raped, stabbed and her throat slashed. By God’s divine grace, Kristie survived!

After the brutal attack of my daughters, I was in search of every support group I could find. I needed to understand why we had to suffer this tragedy. There were many voids in my life I couldn’t seem to fill. The support groups were wonderful, but didn’t satisfy me. Then our detective, Rich Leonard, asked me to speak from a victim/survivors standpoint, for a special training class regarding the Powell case, for Prince William County Detectives. Doors opened and I’ve received, far more than I gave.

As a team, Rich and I begin speaking to Victims, Law Enforcement Agencies, Victim Witness Agencies, Commonwealth Attorney’s, Universities (Political Science Students) and Inmates on the Impact of Victimization. I’ve found satisfaction and my life is not ruled by fear, anger or hate, because we found trust and compassion in our law enforcement agency.

Our hope is that by sharing our story, the victims served by Law Enforcement officers, will be more than just a case. They are children, mothers, daughters, sons and fathers, seeking trust beyond all measure, who desperately need answers, in their fight for justice.

Please know that our paths do not cross by chance. We’ve each been chosen for a special purpose. Reach out, with arms wide open. Embrace everyone with love and compassion. Listen and listen still more. Hear what it is, they’re not saying.

Listen….. With all your heart.

Lorraine’s precious daughter, Stacie, was murdered on January 29, 1999.


 

PAMELA CORRENTE PAPI
New Jersey

Pam Corrente Papi

Founder, The Damian Corrente Memorial Youth Foundation.  Founder, Long Island, New York,  Campaign for Gang Awareness Suppression and Prevention (GASP), National Mother’s Day Billboard campaign,  Long Island Railroad Campaign which was a one month long  gang prevention  campaign with 75 posters on the Long Island line from Nassau County to Manhattan, developer of  Public Service Announcements for Gang Awareness and Prevention, community activist, lecturer and presenter of gang awareness, suppression and prevention to civic groups, television appearances and high school students, founder, Pam’s People.

Founder, Operation Jump Start, a collaborative training program for youth at risk between the Damian Corrente Memorial Youth Foundation, Quality Homes aRe-us and the Township of Irvington Community Planning and Development which trains youth at risk in home renovations, subdivision development, mortgage counseling.  This is a win-win situation for any community providing jobs, skills, opportunities and a safe house for kids, building and help to rebuild and revitalize the community.

About Pam After the murder of Damian, her 21 year old son on January 14, 1999, Pam was moved to conceive a public service announcement to denounce the problem of gang violence in Long island.  “The whole purpose of the public service announcement is to let people know of this tragedy,” said Fred Carpenter, an independent film maker who Pam hired to make the PSA. For this PSA, she earned support from local officials, testified at hearings at the state level and reached out to national organizations, such as the Parents of Murdered Children. The Freeport, Long Island, Police Department helped her to push this PSA initiative and the Veterans of the Vietnam War, a national organization, agreed to support it.  The group donated $5,000 in seed funding for the filming of the PSA, which featured anti-drug and gang suppression programs.  A couple of years ago, if someone would have told Pamela Corrente that there were gangs in Long Island, N.Y., she would have laughed at them.  That was before Damian was murdered.

Operation Jump Start Rebuilding, Renewing, Revitalization. . Rebuilding a town, by collaborating with The Damian Corrente Memorial Youth Foundation, Mayor Wayne Smith and The Municipal Township of Irvington, New Jersey, Hamlett Goore, Toni Bennett of the Community Development and planning, and Quality Homes aRe-us. Goal is to stop the violence by providing feasible alternatives which are teaching all our children skill, trades and opportunities, revitalizing communities, renewing community spirit, and offering first time home buyers, buyer’s assistance.  Operation Jump Start is the brain storm of Pamela Corrente, when she began the collaboration between the Damian Corrente Memorial Youth Foundation, Quality Homes aRe-us and the Township of Irvington Community Planning and Development Committee. This comprehensive program was approved by the Town Council and was awarded $40,000.  With 65 applicants in the first week, the field had to be narrowed to 12 youth for the first round of a 12 week program. Applicants went through a process of Tabe testing, personal interviews and drug testing.  12 students began class room training on April 4th, 2005 for a 4 week period with lunches and a stipend of $10.00 a day (two consecutive rounds of 12 students will follow the first round as they complete the classroom training, a total of 36 young adults, over a 12 week period.)On week 4, they will actually begin renovations of three designated homes in Irvington provided by Quality Homes aRe-us, receiving $9.00 an hour.  In week 12, the 36 young adults, after successful completion and graduation from the program, will be obtaining employment.  Some will be hired by a developer and some will enter the Union Apprenticeship Program.  Finally, they will then be offered the chance to actually purchase the home they have renovated.  Mortgage counseling will be provided by OJS and Buyers Assistance by the Irvington Community Development Program, starting at $5,000 dollars.  As the homes are sold, a percentage will go back to OJS to purchase a “safe house for kids” consisting of four levels of Journalism, Digital Camera equipment, Video Recording equipment and a place for kids to just go and do their homework after school. Pam states: “Since $40,000 dollars doesn’t go very far, I am pounding the pavement soliciting sponsors and begging for donations.  You all know how that goes! I have been going crazy with Operation Jump Start and leave my home early in the morning, sometimes as early as 4:30 A.M. to travel to Irvington to be there for the classes which start at 8:00 A.M. I love the kids so much and they love the course and they are so supportive of me and the program.  We have received a TON of publicity.  Channel 4 will be here this week and I am preparing for graduation of round one and starting the third week of round two.  It has been an incredible experience even though there seems to be crises DAILY.  There have been news reports on Channels Fox 5, 8, and 4. I will be teaching Thursday and Friday.  It is a lot of work, but so gratifying. I love the kids and it is wonderful to see their positive response…someone is giving them an alternative to violence…a chance to learn about how to become a contributing member of society because someone is giving them a chance and providing them with an opportunity for gainful employment.  I know that my son Damian, a pre-med student at Stony Brook College in New York, who was caught in a crossfire between two gangs, and an innocent victim of crime,  murdered by three gang members as he sat in his car with a friend, would approve of Operation Jump Start, and that he would love the young adults who are learning alternatives to violence.”

Public Speaking, Conferences, Press Conferences, Television and Radio Appearances  Television and radio appearances .on L.A. Law, 48 hours, among other national television specials. Children’s Manager for Pam’s People, a placement service for talented children in the theater, lecturer and specialist on gang diversion. Producer of Public Service Announcement on Gang Violence.

State-wide seminar, New York, Heritage Hills Conference Center, Springettsbury Township.Articles in the Home News Tribune, New York by Staff Writers “Gang killings grieved” Paul Nelson, 12/22/02 , 5/10/03,  “ Mom Fights Back on Gang Violence”, Victor Manuel Ramos, Newsday, 11/25/2000,  “Man Jailed for Helping Murder Suspects Flee”, Chau Lam,  9/08/1999, “Sentenced for Helping Suspect/ Man gets year for aiding 2 wanted in death flee”, Oscar Corral, 8/31/1999, “Victim’s Kin Post Reward in Slaying”, Oscar Corral, 4/29/1999, “2 Charged With Helping Suspected Killers Flee”, Edward W. Lempinen, 4/10/1999, “Stony Brook Student Gunned Down”, Barbara J. Drukin, 1/16/1999, Only On Lifetime TV, broadcast, Unsolved Mysteries,  9/3/2002,Volunteer  working with the victims of the World Trade Tower Terrorist Attack, New York City, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Public high schools and civic organizationsAwards Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Community Justice Program, 5/16/2002, Proclamation from Office of the Mayor, City of Jersey City, 5/16/2003, Garden State Film Festival, First Place for  PSA Filmmaking, “Gang Violence”, to G.A.S.P.(Gang Awareness Suppression and Prevention) and DNB Productions, 2003 Support S.T.R.O.N.G. (Struggling To Reunite Our New Generation), Sergio Argueta, former gang member, founder, The Veterans of the Vietnam War, The Parents of Murdered Children, Freeport, Long Island Rotary Club, The Office of the Chief of Police, Freeport, Long Island, N.Y., Mothers Against Gang Wars, N.Y., The Zakee Bowser Foundation, N.J., the Renee Olubunmi Rondeau Peace Foundation, Office of the Mayor of City of New Jersey.Career: Founder, Pam’s People, Entertainment business/20 years, part-time actress, Beauty Pageant Judge. Member: Screen Actor’s Guild, Parents of Murdered Children, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Board member, the National Coalition of Victims in Action.

Son Damian, murdered, January 14, 1999.



YVONNE BECTON
Tennessee

Yvonne Becton

Victim Advocate, Victims to Victory Organization, Conference Workshop Presenter.

Received extensive training through the National Organization for Victims Assistance, and is an active member.

Media Appearances and News Articles

Television appearance on the Geraldo Rivera Show.

Appeared in June 1998 issue of Women’s Day Magazine, featuring victims’ rights.

Training and certification

The Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, South Carolina

Certified through the National Advocate Credentialing Program, regarding work experience, pre-service training and continuing education in the provision of services to those victimized by crime.

Training through the Tennessee U.S. Attorneys and Law Enforcement General conference, TN Victims Assistance Conference. Appointment to TN Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) design review team.

Awards

Professional of the Year Award during National Crime Victims Rights Week, 1999.

One of 25 community “Heroes Next Door” sponsored by the National Organization, Facing History Next Door.

Yvonne’s Goals and Career

For Yvonne, the tragic, abrupt end of her 32 year old daughter’s life was, in another way, a beginning.

She first joined the staff of a local organization, Victims to Victory, which serves the families of homicide victims. She continues her excellent work as a Victim Service Provider for the organization Victims to Victory, which provides faith-based support services to homicide survivors.  A Tennessee pastoral counselor established the organization because she had been unable to find such services for the surviving family members of young murder victims in her congregation. Victims to Victory’s close relationship with the Memphis Homicide Department and the District Attorney’s office gives it access to timely contact information for families of victims.  In the immediate aftermath of a murder, most survivors are too traumatized to seek help.  The homicide department notifies Victims to Victory that a homicide has occurred, and the group sends a letter to the victim’s family offering the free services.  Volunteers make follow-up calls and a home visit.  Victims to Victory also employs two full-time homicide assistant specialists (one of them Yvonne Becton) to provide crisis counseling when needed.  The faith community establishes a grief support group for the survivors in collaborations with state-funded programs in the area and offers workshops and weekend retreats. The staff of Victims to Victory serves on the city’s Fatality Review Team and the Faith Outreach Committee of the local Domestic Violence Council.  They partner with the county victim assistance agency to host an annual remembrance retreat for survivors.  Through Victims to Victory, local churches reach out to the community in a new way, offering practical assistance and emotional and spiritual support “to help victims of crime move from crisis to comfort through Christ.” Although volunteers pray with the survivors at their request, survivors do not need to make a profession of faith to receive support from the program.  Victims to Victory serves up to 200 homicide survivors each year.  It is the only faith-based agency serving homicide victim families in the Memphis area. Yvonne does remarkable work with Victims to Victory.

She also became a volunteer for Neighbors Who Care, a rapidly growing national organization made up of church members who provide moral support and daily living help to victims of burglary, assault and attempted murder.

Public Service and Employment

Yvonne’s Quotes

“I wanted to help other people, to turn my sorrow into joy,” Yvonne recalls saying after the murder of her daughter.

But Yvonne has had higher goals in mind, like many crime victims who feel re-victimized by the justice system; she wants to see laws changed.  She has worked diligently on the Victim’s Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would give victims the right to be notified, to be present, and to make their voices heard in the prosecution and sentencing of criminals.  Over the years since Vicki Lynn’s murder, Yvonne has renewed her vow to “turn my sorrow into joy” by helping crime survivors.  She has been a NOVA conference presenter on the subject of how victims service providers, victims’ advocates and victim directors, as well as victims and survivors can best help victims of crime.  Her workshops have been “standing room only”.

During National Crime Victims Rights Week, Victims to Victory, where Yvonne is works as a victims advocate, a three mile fundraiser walk for justice was held in the City of Memphis, Tennessee, followed by a meet and greet with Attorney General of the State, the Honorable Bill Gibbons, along with a candlelight memorial service.

Memberships and Affiliations

Board member, Violence Prevention & Intervention, Shelby County, Tennessee.

Member, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Member, the National Organization for Victims Assistance ( NOVA)

Board Member, the National Coalition of Homicide Survivors, Inc.

Board of Directors, the National Coalition of Victims in Action

Daughter Vickie Lynn McKinney murdered September 8, 1994.



DOTTI WALKER
Texas

Dotti in JPEG format 

Victim Advocate, lecturer, conference workshop presenter, active member of People Against Violent Crime, Texas. Founder, The Ironing Board Brigade for Victims Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Active member of Force 100 for the Victims Rights Amendment. . Numerous conference presentations, champion in fund raising.

Author, cookbook in honor of victims and survivors, “ A Pinch of Salt and a Tump of Flour”, which Dotti sells at conferences, golf-tournaments, other fund raisers to sponsor victims of crime to conferences and other workshops and events for healing.

MediaDotti’s quest for changes in victims’ rights began because of the murder of her wonderful son, Johnny, and because of the way she was treated during the court process.  Her son’s murderer pled no contest to murder charges, and although several pre-trial and pre-sentencing proceedings were conducted, Dotti was rarely notified.  She notices that had the case gone to trial, prosecutors would have barred her from the courtroom.  She noticed that the defendant’s family was allowed to stay in the courtroom and show emotion, but the family of the victims would be subpoenaed and would have to stay in the hall.

Dotti has appeared in headlines all over Texas in leading newspaper articles since August 26, 1992, when Johnny was murdered. “A Cry for Help Repeated”, “Victims’ Rights Crusade Hits Town”, “Son’s murder Fuels Her Fight for Crime Victims’ Rights”, “Former Washington County Mother is Pushing Campaign for Victims’ Rights”, “Heated Debate…Murder Victims’ Kin, Protesters Clash”, “Victims’ Rights Petition Blocked at Mobile (Alabama) Mall”, “Murdered Children’s Parents study Justice With Mock Trial”, “Mother’s Efforts to Find Justice May Have Backfired”, “Crime Victim to Take Message to President”, “Petitioning for Victims’ Rights, “Remembering the Victims of Crime” are all articles about Dotti Walker, supported by her son’s long time friend, Nanette Van Ostrom, and her fight for victims’ rights and the Constitutional Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for Victims’ Rights.

Dotti states: “On August 26, 1992, a new person emerged out of me! Because of the actions of a young man who had a terrible childhood that continued into his adult years, he murdered my son.  On that August day, my life was changed forever! I believe, I would not be here today if this young man had had the love and attention that we all need and deserve s children to grow into responsible young adults.

Press Conferences Steps of U.S. Capitol, July 2004, People Pedaling Peace Press Conference

Audience of legislators, victims of crime, youth, and leaders of national organizations.

“Children and young people have many options but they are going the wrong way.  If we don’t step in and help them, especially in the early years of their development, the odds are already set against them.  It is never “too late” to connect with a child! We all need love and children are like sponges and just looking for someone to care for them! If they don’t find it in their own families, they will go out and find it, but unfortunately, the places where they find that attention is in the wrong places. There is no pill to stop our tears; we will shed tears for our lost children for the rest of our lives! So get “off your duff” and get more involved with your kids, because kids tend to drift away from reality and live in a dream world.  Together, we can make a difference and today can be the day you take that first step! Thank you for our kindness in listening to me today! The murderer of my son had a rough beginning and needed more love from his parents.  That is why I took him into my heart and home. But it wasn’t enough…he needed more love and help earlier in his life. That is the reason I quoted years ago, “Crime is not stopped in the electric chair, it’s stopped in the high chair.”

Dotti quoted this many years ago, before the expression became recognized by national organizations.

Awards In May 2004, Dotti Walker was awarded the Pam Lynchner Volunteer Award by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Dallas. Ms. Lynchner dedicated her life to ensuring that victims’ rights were protected and their voices heard. She was one of the victims of TWA flight 800, which crashed off the coast of Long Island, NY, in July 1996.

Participant and fund raiser for national bike ride for peace, People Pedaling Peace, Hampton, Virginia to Washington, D.C.

Memberships and affiliations People Against Violent Crime, Force 100 for the Victims’ Rights Constitutional Amendment, The Renee Olubunmi Rondeau Peace Foundation, founder, The Ironing Board Brigade, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, The Texas Victims Clearinghouse, and Board of Directors member for the National Coalition of Victims in Action.

Career Professional research photographer for the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.

A beautiful story about the friendship between two families and about Johnny is called “The Glimpse of an Angel”, written by Angie Campbell.

Son, John Anthony Johnson, murdered August 26, 1992



NANETTE VAN OSTROM
Texas

Nanette Van Ostrom

Victim Advocate, lecturer, active member People Against Violent Crime, Actively engaged in People Against Violent Crime, the Ironing Board Brigade, People Pedaling Peace, the Texas Victims Clearinghouse Conference, the National Organization for Victims Assistance Conference, member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, supporter and activist for the United States Victims Rights Constitutional Amendment.

Childhood friend, John Anthony Johnson, murdered August 26, 1992.



BRENDA O’QUIN
Texas

Brenda Oquin

Project Director, Safe City Commission, which evaluates gang activity in Tarrant County, as well as to recommend strategies for communities to address gang activity. In addition, the Commission coordinates the “Safe City Fort Worth” art contest for the Fort Worth Independent School District called “Imagine No Violence”, runs a media campaign in conjunction with “Project Safe Neighborhoods” called “Gun Crime Means Hard Time” and operates the local Crime Stopper Program in conjunction with the Fort Worth Police Department.

She served as Texas State Coordinator for Parents of Murdered Children, Inc, and a member of the National POMC Board of Trustees, and the National Murder Response Team trained to handle mass casualty incidents.

Founding member of The North Texas Chapter of POMC after the tragic murder of her 17 year old son, Michael, along with his 16 year old Katy Nesbit.

Past chair of the Management Council governing Partnership for Change, an innovative collaborative of seven non-profit agencies co-locating to share resources and reduce administrative costs.

Steering Committee for the North Texas Council of Governments Criminal Justice Committee.

Participates in the “Bright Futures” project, where at-risk youth participate in a program on a local college campus.

Coordinator of the Juvenile Violence Task force funded by the Governor of Texas, 1998 and 1999.

Works with the Texas Youth Commission presenting and coordinating “Victim Impact” programs and training to staff.

Among her many other contributions, she coordinates presentation and training including Victim Impact Panels, to the media, journalism classes, criminal justice classes, the Federal Medical Center, the Texas Youth Commission, the Fort Worth Police Department, Arlington Police Department, and the US Attorneys Office.

Certifications

She is certified to train the trainer in the curriculum “Working With  Children Traumatized by Homicide.” She has presented workshops for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, The Associated Press, The Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Dallas Morning News, The Texas Corrections Association, The Texas Clearinghouse Conference, The Texas Victim Services Association, and Communities in Schools., Texas Christian University Journalism Classes, Texas Christian University Criminal Justice Classes, University of Texas/Austin Criminal Justice and Tarrant County College.

She also is on the board of the Tarrant County Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.

Awards

The Ellen Halbert Award for outstanding service to victims of crime 2002.

The Star Award presented by the Texas Corrections Association and the Safe City Award, 2003.

Productions

She has produced with the Crime Prevention Resource Center and Lockheed Martin to produce an award winning gang awareness video called “Face to Face”.  Her current project is a second video called “Rolling Deep”, The Shadow World of Gangs”

Son Michael McEachern and his friend Katy Nesbit, murdered 1995.

Website: www.safecitycommission.org



POLLY FRANKS
Virginia

Polly Sweeney

National spokesperson, Child Sexual Offender and Sexual Abuse Prevention.

Television and Radio Appearances, Prevention Specialist, Lecturer, Writer, Child Sexual Offender and Sexual Abuse Prevention, proponent of and promoter of  National Sex Offender Registry.

Polly Franks has served as the Virginia President for Mothers Against Sexual Abuse, a 501©3 non profit organization, since 2003.She brings extensive hands-on experience to MASA, particularly with media relations and legislative initiatives involving sex crime issues.  Her commitment to this cause stems from her experience as a mother of two children who were victimized in 1995 by Joseph Frank Smith, a former neighbor and friend who turned out to be Richmond, Virginia’s notorious “Bandanna Bandit”. During his crime spree between 1983 to 1998, Smith was linked to a minimum of 286 incidents of rape and child molestation. Polly Franks was instrumental in getting this predator behind bars. Her story was published in the August 2002 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine.

Media/Advocacy Experience:

National Television

Dateline NBC, 1999. ABC’s 20/20, 2000.  Court TV, Catherine Crier Live, February 2001. Discovery Channel, The Justice Files, 2002. The John Walsh Show, September 2002. Court TV, Catherine Crier Live, December 2003. The Montel Williams Show, December 2003. ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, July 2005. ABC’s “Top Priority”, July 2005.

Local Television

WWBT (NBC Affiliate) in December 1999, August 2002, December 2003 and July 2005.  WRIC (ABC Affiliate) in January 2000.

WTVR (CBS Affiliate) in July 2002, November 2002.

National Radio

National Public Radio (interview) May 5, 2003. WBGG, New York, December 2004. WCCM, Massachusetts, January 2005. KAHL, San Antonio, Texas, April 2005, July 2005.  KPSI, Palm Springs, California, May 2005. Delilah, Nationally Syndicated Program, June 2005.

Press Conferences

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. May 5, 2003.

Lobbying

Meeting with Senator George Allen (R-VA), and many others with House Judiciary Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Virginia Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine, and lobbied in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on behalf of the “Two Strikes and You’re Out Child Protection Act”, the “Amber Alert Act”, the “Family Privacy Act”, the “Debbie Smith Act”,  the “Victims Rights Act” and the National Sex Offender Registry, all from July 30, 2001 to the present.

Publications

She has written many articles that have been published in major national magazines and newspapers, as well as having been interviewed about the horror of the experience that she and her family had with the Bandanna Bandit, as well as her views on solutions to sexual predators, child abuse and molestation and prevention thereof., from February 2001 to June 2005 in Family Circle Magazine, Good Housekeeping Magazine, LSU newspaper- the Reveille, Parents Magazine, the Free-Lance Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia, the Fresno Bee of Fresno, California, the Abilene Reporter of Abilene, Texas, Scene and Heard of Toronto, Canada, the News Leader of Staunton, Virginia, the Belleville News Democrat of Belleville, Illinois, the San Antonio News Express of San Antonio, Texas, the Houston Chronicle of Houston, Texas, the Montreal Gazette of Montreal, Canada, and the Christian Science Monitor.

She has an Associate Degree from Bluefield College.

Public Service Organizations

National Coalition of Victims in Action (Board of Directors)

Mothers Against Sexual Abuse (former Virginia President)

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Force 100 for the Victims’ Rights Constitutional Amendment Committee, Virginia Co-chair, Virginians United Against Crime (VUAC) and a Charter member of  Staples Mill Road Baptist Church.

Polly Franks is currently working on a National Sex Offender Registry.

Daughters sexually abused by Bandana Bandit, 1995


SANDRA and MICHAEL MCSWEENEY
Virginia

McSweeneys

Founders, The Stephanie McSweeney Memorial Foundation/ People Pedaling Peace 200 mile bike-ride for crime prevention.

Michael is originally from Plattsburgh, New York.  Sandra is from Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada. Married since 1977 when Mike’s father, an engineer,. Was transferred to Canada to design a nuclear plant in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Sandra states that it was difficult for the couple from the beginning, being an interracial couple.

Married in the State of Maine, three children Tosha, 25, Mike Jr., 23 and Stephanie who was murdered at the age of 14.

Mike and Sandra have a small Home Improvement business in the city of Hampton, Virginia.

On August 11, 2001, the McSweeney’s founded People Pedaling Peace, just a few months after the murder of Stephanie. The PPP is a 200 mile bike ride from Hampton, Virginia to Washington, D.C. in memory of all victims of violent crimes and to bring attention to violence, especially among youth, in our country. Survivors from all over the country have attended the mission to stop the killing for four consecutive years.  They have traveled from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, Rocori High School, Cold Spring, Minnesota, and victims, survivors and law enforcement officers from Virginia, Georgia, New York, Texas, Ohio, California, Missouri and Washington D.C.

Support has come from Parents of Murdered Children, the Alliance for Justice, the Million Mom March, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, the Office of Victims of Crime of the United States Department of Justice, the Arlington County Police Force, Police Chiefs of a five county area in Virginia, Washington, D.C. Police Chief, the Capitol Police, U.S. Congressmen, Blacks Against Black Crime, Inc., the Renee Olubunmi Rondeau Peace Foundation, the Stacie Reed Foundation, Home Depot, the Bike Beat Shop of Hampton, as well as many other private donors such as restaurants and hotels and private schools.

Media/Advocacy Experience

The McSweeneys have appeared on national television on CNN, BET, NBC, and Sally Jesse Raphael.  They have also presented on numerous radio talk shows, and Sandra has been a spokesperson at local middle schools, speaking out against violent crime to youth and teens, reaching them before and in the aftermath of tragedies. For the past four years, on the People Pedaling Peace Bike Ride for Awareness on Youth  on Youth Violence, Sandra and Mike McSweeney have held press conferences throughout the 200 mile ride with Virginia and National networks.  The word of People Pedaling Peace has been spread throughout the nation by the riders who are survivors and victims of the school shootings across the nation, as well as by victims of crime and violence.  The word has been spread to Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, D.C., Virginia, Texas, Arkansas as well as many other states.

The Proclamation of People Pedaling Peace, written by the youth riders, the planning committee and the McSweeney’s states:

Whereas, People Pedaling Peace desires to eliminate and help bring awareness regarding the increasing number of youth homicides, youth gangs, juvenile crime and senseless killing by youth in our school and neighborhoods; and Whereas, the Mission of People Pedaling Peace is to serve as a support group for homicide victims and youth who have been victimized; and Whereas, it is the belief of People Pedaling Peace that the energy of the youth of our nation who commit these violent and deadly acts must be redirected, challenged and be encouraged to participate in positive activities; and Whereas, the youth of our nation will be given a sense of healing by bonding with others in this bike ride for awareness and action; and Whereas, the youth of our nation will gain self-esteem by hearing the voices of those who are on this ride who have been victimized; and Whereas, People Pedaling Peace will encourage the establishment of alternative activities such as after-school recreational and educational programs, spiritual outlets leading to peace and non-violence; Therefore, a bike ride, comprising youth and other victims and survivors of crime and violence is being held each year to bring attention to the general public and to the members of the Congress, the bike ride, from Hampton, Virginia to Washington, D.C., a 200 mile trek, accompanied by members of the police force,  to bring about awareness as to the depth and breadth of the problem of crime and violence among youth and others in these United States; Therefore, we the riders and the victims and survivors of those harmed by violence in our nation, do pledge to continue to bring about awareness regarding the seriousness of violence in our nation and we request the support of the American public for the mission of People Pedaling Peace; and Therefore, we declare these Annual Bike Rides of  People Pedaling Peace, as our contribution to Society as an effort on the part of victims and survivors, including all youth, do hereby proclaim that every year, we will ride in tandem until that day when all violence has decreased in our nation and no one will ever again suffer the pain of victimization.  Therefore, we declare that one week a year, in the month of July, as People Pedaling Peace Week, in the year of our Lord.

Sandra and Michael McSweeney, Founders, People Pedaling Peace.

Members and Affliliations   The Parents of Murdered Children, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Stacie Reed Foundation. Board of Directors, The National Coalition of Victims in Action

Daughter, Stephanie Lynn McSweeney,  murdered, March 2, 2001


 

BRENDINA DELORIS TOBIAS
Virginia

Brendina Tobias

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, School Social Worker working as Therapist, Group Facilitator, Community Affairs Teen Director, Research, Psychological assessments, Bereavement specialist.

Brendina Tobias provides therapeutic counseling and clinical social work services to individuals, families and groups.  She has worked as a therapist, group facilitator, school social worker, licensed clinical social worker, and has done comprehensive work in admissions/acute treatment program,  community affairs teen director and contract consultant for the following establishments: the Center for Child and Family Services, The Newport News Public Schools,  Peartree Park,  Psychiatric Associates and  the Colonial Hospital Recovery Center  in Newport News;  the York County School Division and  the Yorktown-Poquoson Social Services in Yorktown, Va.; the Hampton Mental Health Associates and  the Hampton Department of Social Services in Hampton, Va.;  the Eastern State Hospital of Williamsburg, Va. Involvement in provision of assessments, counseling and consultation to students and their families for the purpose of supporting positive academic and social outcomes for students, networking for community resources and services to promote their academic success; provision of therapy/case management services and bereavement counseling; provision of psychosocial assessments for patients, attending treatment planning conferences, provision of leadership in clinical group meetings, ongoing therapeutic counseling to individual patients and their families, provision of discharge planning in conjunction with a multidisciplinary treatment team, determination of financial status of patients and/or the need for entitlement services; networking with community agencies for resource aid and discharge planning; the planning monthly-organized activities for teens at a housing complex, fund raising activities, sponsoring of dances, rap session with community teenagers 12-18; and comprehensive psychosocial assessments for special education students are among Brendina Tobias’s many professional tasks as a licensed clinical social worker, school social worker and related community work.

Education

Brendina has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. And a Master of Arts in Social Work from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va.  In addition, she has studied and trained at the Investigative Techniques Training, Lynchburg, Va., Psychosocial Rehabilitation Training, Eastern State Hospital and The Virginia Institute for Professional Counseling Training in Williamsburg, Va.; Disaster Mental Health Training with the American Red Cross in Portsmouth, Va.; the Annual Family Therapy Network Symposium in Washington, D.C. and entered the Norfolk State University Doctorate Social Work Program, Norfolk, Va. from 1997 to 1999.

Licensed with the Board of Social Work, Licensed Clinical Social Worker; a School Social Worker, and with the Virginia institute of Professional Addiction Counselor’s Training.

Brendina Tobias has done extensive research on the murderers of her son and has determined that the murderers would have benefited from  early intervention for crime prevention.

Additional Training and education:

In 1997, completed 160 semester hours in the Geriatric Services Program of Eastern State Hospital, while earning an undergraduate degree at Christopher Newport University.

In 1988, completed 160 semester hours at Hampton Department of Social Services. Advocated for client benefits for services and returned to the Department for three months to strengthen and improve interviewing skills.1992-1993, developed and implemented an evaluative research project to determine the need for family therapy at Eastern State Hospital in the Admissions/Acute Treatment Program.

Skills

 Assessments, Case Management, Clinical Services, Individual Group, Family and Bereavement due to Violence, Counseling, Community advocate resources and services, Discharge Planning, Documentation, Substance Abuse Counseling

Membership and Affiliations

She is a member of the American Red Cross Disaster/Mental Health Technician Williamsburg Virginia Chapter, National Association of Social Work, Washington, D.C., York-Poquoson Child Advocacy Team, the Parents of Murdered Children, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and the National Association for Victims Assistance. Board of Directors, National Coalition of Victims in Action

 

Son Devon Kimble, murdered, August 5, 1993.