Award Recipient: Michelle Coley
How did you get started volunteering?
The idea of volunteering started in my childhood. My parents stressed the importance of participating monthly in community service activities. That attitude and philosophy has followed me throughout my life.
Tell us a little about the organizations you are currently volunteering with.
I am currently volunteering at the Rape Crisis Center, and Operation SafeHouse.
At the Rape Crisis Center, we provide a 24-hour crisis hotline for victims and their families, advocacy to medical exams, law enforcement interviews, and court appearances.
At Operation SafeHouse, we provide at risk youths emergency shelter.
Wow. That is pretty intense for a community service position. What kind of special training is required?
Rape Crisis Center - requires a 50 hour training program given by the state of California as a Sexual Assault Victim Counselor.
Operation SafeHouse - requires 20 hours of in-service training per year; 30 hours of professional development courses relating to issues surrounding at-risk youths and clinical case worker report writing training.
So, is there anything new on the horizon?
Yes! I am excited to start training with the county of San Bernardino as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA.) I will be acting as a child advocate appointed by the Presiding judge of the Juvenile Court to represent the best interest of children who are under the Court’s jurisdiction. During the time the child remains under the jurisdiction of the Court, CASA investigates the child’s circumstances, provides factual information and makes recommendations to the Court on the welfare of the child.
Okay. The BIG question. What do you do to relax?
Well, I am actually a movie buff and my weekly stress reliever is to check out a new movie. Popcorn and a soda in each hand and just sit back and relax! I love anything sci-fi and am a certified Trekkie.