I walked into the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault in my patent leather heels- more nervous about tripping over my own feet than actually not knowing what to expect on my first day at my new internship. While I walked into RCASA in shoes that were my own, I came out walking the steps of so many brave and empowered survivors. To say that RCASA changed my life would be selling every therapist, advocate, volunteer and survivor short. The women and men that I came into contact with opened my eyes and taught me more in the two and a half months that I worked for RCASA than any book, lecture, or video could have ever taught me.
As a pre-art therapy major at Lynchburg College, I knew that I wanted to work with patients suffering from PTSD. What I didn’t know was that RCASA would decide my life path and define me as a student. Every person that I came into contact with while employed at RCASA redefined what I knew to be passion and commitment. I was welcomed into an environment that truly cares for the victims and families that step through their doors; RCASA is willing to do whatever it takes to help.
I had an opportunity to work with an art therapy support group, as well as with incoming patients. They will never know the profound impact they had on me. I learned what strength truly is, and I realized how much I wanted to help victims of sexual assault. RCASA has so many wonderful and unique opportunities for every type of person and circumstance. The valuable lessons that I learned and the people, who I hope were but half as impacted by RCASA as I was by them, represent the basic foundation of what RCASA stands for.
Today I am finishing my senior year of college and am currently employed by a local domestic violence shelter. The stories and experiences that I had with RCASA made me unbelievably prepared for not only my current job, but also for future graduate school. I want to thank all of you who stepped into RCASA and into my life, leaving a permanent mark on me. I hope that RCASA will forever be able to impact men, women, and children in the same way it has done for me.