UNM Newsroom: Nova and UNM to Introduce Fresh Victim Assistance Group

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The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) and the Women’s Re Center (WRC) have launched the Youth Advocacy Corps, which aims to empower young advocates and promote the next generation of leaders in violence prevention. The project will be announced at a town hall on 24 April as part of the Office for Victims of Crime’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The Youth Advocacy Corps will be funded by a three-year, $750,000 OVC grant and will emphasise engaging youth in victim services. Fifteen to 18 student fellows will receive training, mentorship and a paid field-placement in a local victim service organisation for nine months.

In accordance with the latest findings of the latest news from the University of New Mexico (UNM), the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) and the Women’s Re Center (WRC) have partnered to launch a new project aimed at empowering youth advocates and elevating the next generation of leaders in violence prevention. The project, called the Youth Advocacy Corps, will be announced at a town hall on Monday, April 24, as part of the Office for Victims of Crime’s (OVC) National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The Youth Advocacy Corps seeks to uplift and celebrate the voices of marginalized youth in victim advocacy by centering their perspectives in the development and execution of the program. “It’s fitting that the Corps is being announced during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week as their work will no doubt amplify survivor voices in all spaces, especially those where they are seldom heard,” said OVC Director Kristina Rose.

The project will be funded by a three-year, $750,000 OVC grant, and will place a large emphasis on engaging youth in victim services. The town hall aims to amplify the voices of historically marginalized survivors of multiple forms of violence and crime. UNM students, faculty, and staff, as well as New Mexico community members and victim service providers, are invited to attend and learn about the new project.

Fifteen to eighteen student fellows will be given training, mentorship, and a paid field-placement in a local victim service organization for nine months. Fellows will convene at NOVA’s 50th annual conference in 2024 to receive training to become credentialed victim advocates and will then be placed in a victim service organization within their local community.

The Youth Advocacy Corps will not only be developed in Albuquerque, but also in partnership with Rainbow Research and four other minority-serving campus pilot sites: Aaniiih Nakoda College, Dominican University, University of Texas at El Paso, and Coahoma Community College.

“The Youth Advocacy Corps, to me, is a commitment from the current leaders in victim services to transform advocacy as we know it. The Youth Advocacy Corps is a commitment to elevating voices that have been silenced for far too long,” said NOVA Youth Advocacy Corps Program Manager and UNM Senior Abrianna Morales.

The launch of the Youth Advocacy Corps is a significant step towards keeping everyone safe physically and mentally. UNM and NOVA are at the forefront of this powerful new project, empowering youth advocates and elevating the next generation of leaders in violence prevention. With its focus on engaging youth in victim services, the Youth Advocacy Corps is poised to make a real difference in communities across New Mexico and beyond.

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