“I’ve been blessed to work with The Child Center for 15 years. Some days are hard, I won’t lie. The work can be emotionally taxing so maybe that’s why I become so excited about the victories.

Recently, I watched a girl that I interviewed 7 years ago participate in her graduation parade. The knowledge that she was able to grow up without her abuser around, and seeing her fantastic start in life, made it an emotional experience for me. 

Had it not been for my time at The Child Center, I would not know what it took for her to get where she is now…to see her now as a strong and resilient young woman.

A typical graduation of a happy, safe teenager should be what we expect for every child, but when you hear and see the trauma so many children have survived – you realize this isn’t the case for everyone.

So this graduation parade was a victory.

-Child & Family Advocate, Hannibal Office