There are many people in our community working to create positive change to end sexual violence. We want to feature as many of them as possible. If you would like to submit a recommendation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAR is a vital service and I am more than honored to be serving a community that I was raised in, that I raise my own children in, and that I love.
– Hannah Morace
1. What is your position at STAR?
I am the Program Director for STAR’s Central Louisiana branch. In May 2016 I was hired to begin building community partnerships, recruiting volunteers, and spreading the word about STAR’s services in the area.
Beginning this month, the CenLA branch began officially providing services to survivors to meet the need of our community.
2. What led you to your work in sexual assault prevention and/or response?
While finishing my degree at Northwestern State University, my search for an internship led me to the Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center and Rapides CASA. During that period, I became more aware of the lifelong impact that sexual assault has on individuals, families and communities.
After graduation, I worked as a direct service case manager for children and their families. I felt an extra level of empathy for survivors partially because I knew that our community did not have the resources to assist them in recovery from their trauma. When word spread that STAR was coming to Central Louisiana, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the implementation. I could not be more thankful that the STAR management team recognized the enthusiasm and willingness that I had to contribute. STAR is a vital service and I am more than honored to be serving a community that I was raised in, that I raise my own children in, and that I love.
3. What do you find most rewarding about your involvement in this work?
The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I get to be a part of an organization that does such amazing work. Whether it be a small task or a much larger project, I stand proudly to be focused on STAR’s vision of building a healthy community free from oppression and sexual trauma.
4. What motivates you to keep going when things get difficult or discouraging?
Working for STAR is rewarding, but there are also challenges. When I feel discouraged, I often remind myself of small victories that have made a big impact on someone. Positively impacting individuals’ lives motivates me to keep going and overcome challenges.
5. What are some simple, day-to-day ways you promote positive change in your community?
I feel like the best way to promote social change is to educate people. Even in social settings, the topic of what I “do for a living” seems to open up the conversation. I enjoy talking to people who are interested in the work that I do, and I also love to be challenged by other individuals’ thoughts and even firsthand experiences of sexual violence. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to learning, and I am learning a lot in this work!
6. What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant about becoming an active member of this movement?
If someone is hesitant about becoming involved in the movement, I try to encourage them to do as much as they feel comfortable doing. If one person educates another and that person does the same, then they are making a difference no matter how small it may seem.
Get involved and make change with STAR!