At 28 years old, I was a married woman with three children living in a trailer park and working as a bartender. I made the decision to go back to school. I applied and was accepted at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, a Penn State affiliate. My first semester I scraped by with a 2.4 GPA. Two years later, I graduated with an Associates of Applied Science in Legal Assistant Studies and an overall GPA of 3.7. My first job was in a law office but I quickly learned that it was not a good fit for me. As it turned out, the amateur counseling skills I’d gained as a bartender coupled with the technical knowledge I acquired in school helped me levitate to a rewarding career in social services.
Both positions that followed (detailed below), were start-ups, I was the first person to serve in either of these capacities. I was also a “one man band” so it was up to me to develop protocols and procedures for everything from effective policies to proper documentation. It was challenging but I enjoyed it and I truly loved my job. In 2007, I was named Employee of the Year. Unfortunately, it was a job that relied on grant money and in an effort to balance the state budget, all funding for my position was eliminated in 2012. Very abruptly, after almost 12 years, I was laid off.
At first, I felt like this big hunk of my life had been wasted and now meant nothing. In time, I realized that was not true. I have always been an avid reader and a skilled writer. I became aware that I had really learned and grown a lot in the past two decades (after nearly 20 years of crime and crisis, Law and Order: SVU has nothing on me!) I have had the opportunity to observe the human condition from a very unique and intimate perspective. I possess the ability to convey what I know in clear and concise written form. I have an above average vocabulary and always pay close attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation. I believe my attitude, ability and life experience will allow me to succeed as a writer. I look forward to opportunities and challenges that I may face.
1993- 2000 Legal Advocate, Susquehanna Valley Women In Transition
Provided counseling and advocacy to victims of domestic violence and ****** assault. Worked closely with clients particularly as they interacted with the civil and criminal justice systems. Areas of expertise include protection orders, custody and divorce.
2000- 2012 Victim/Witness Coordinator, Northumberland County Juvenile Court
Provided direct services to victims of juvenile crime for county juvenile probation department. Served as point person for victims going through the juvenile justice process from filing of allegation through disposition. Provided assistance with restitution and victim impact statements. Served on several state level committees. Gained strong knowledge of the juvenile justice system including appellate process
Skills and Achievements
Computer skills- Microsoft Word and Excel, Internet (et.al)
Witness preparation and management
Grant writing, reporting and compliance
Development and implementation of policies and procedures
Brochure production and development (Protection Order Q&A, Custody
Q&A, Juvenile Court Overview, What to Expect at Court)
Trainer- Presented to professionals, colleagues and community
organizations on topics such as domestic violence, ******
assault, safety planning, stalking and victimization
Training Coordinator- Sept. 2010, Administered county wide ******
assault training for 43 attendees. Responsible for all aspects
including logistics, registration, agenda and guest speakers.
Writing samples available upon request
Thank you for your time.