If you have the opportunity to participate in something that you’re passionate about, take it. Also, give this movement a chance to become something that your passionate about. – Tommy Naquin
I became involved with the organization when it was embarking on its transition from the District Attorney’s Rape Crisis Center to STAR in 2011. I was elected as one of the founding Board Members for the organization. Throughout my many years of Board service, I have served as the Board President and Treasurer, where my skills as a CPA came in handy. My term on the Board has ended this year, and I remain active on the Capital Area Regional Council so that I can stay involved with STAR.
What led you to get involved with STAR?
During the time I was asked to serve on the Board, my motivation was to support the District Attorney’s vision of transitioning the organization into a non-profit. Also, I wanted to help Baton Rouge become a better place. I have never experienced rape, nor do I have knowledge of any woman in my life that has been raped. However, potential victims and survivors are an innovative and productive source in our population here in Baton Rouge, and they make up a significant portion of our population. Fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, and legal obstacles significantly affect our people and their ability to perform their role in society. I wanted to do my part to help an organization like STAR succeed and improve the quality of life for those in our community that have experienced sexual violence.
What do you find most rewarding about your participation in this movement?
It’s kind of like planting a tree and watching it grow. When I first began as a Board Member, the organization had a tiny budget and just a few staff. Today, the organization now has over 30 staff and has offices in Alexandria, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. What started out as the dream of a few has grown to help so many.
What motivates you to keep going when things get difficult or discouraging?
With respect to STAR, things haven’t really been difficult or discouraging. Our CEO, Racheal Hebert, handles everything so that the organization runs smoothly and efficiently. Other than that I try to keep my eye on the ball by focusing on those that depend on you and keep things in perspective.
What are some simple, day-to-day ways you promote positive change in our community?
Day to day, I’m still trying to make positive changes in my own life. I think that’s part of the answer. Additionally, I think you prepare yourself mentally each day so that when the opportunity to make a positive change surfaces, you seize and follow through.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant about becoming an active member of this movement?
If you have the opportunity to participate in something that you’re passionate about, take it. Also, give this movement a chance to become something that your passionate about. When I hear about the clients that STAR has helped over the years, it gives me pride to think that I had something to do with helping that person.