April 14, 2021
Be Patient. Listen. Be Kind.
That’s my daily morning mantra. I’ve been a social worker for over 15 years and have worked in a number of different settings. While I was working towards my Masters Degree, I started an internship with Saint Andre Home with the not-for-profit program, CourageLIVES.
The program provides an opportunity to advocate for clients impacted by human trafficking (labor or sex), exploitation, or domestic/sexual violence and a residential home for women 18 and older who are survivors of human trafficking. The program also promotes community awareness and education.
I was able to work with the previous Director before being promoted to the role, and it’s been an incredible transition. The survivors we work with are amazing - resilient, strong and courageous. I mean it in my heart when I say that I learn from these survivors every day, and I can’t think of a population I’ve worked with that’s more inspiring. To assist in their growth to live a safe and healthy life is so rewarding, and doesn't make my work feel like a job.
It was a big change to transition from intern to director, but how well everyone has worked through the change has solidified and confirmed it’s a good fit. I’m honored to be part of such a great time as we build with the change of leadership.
There could be much more awareness and education happening in our rural state, but that’s part of what drives me. I’m very passionate about supporting survivors and building this program so it can continue to blossom. For me, it is so gratifying to help answer the questions of what to look for and who to call. It’s my goal to educate providers and the general public in hopes to start conversations and remove the stigmas so courage can live.
- Kate Stearns-Luce, Director