There are many people in our community working to create positive change to end sexual violence. We want to meet as many of them as possible. If you would like to submit a recommendation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I strive to be a light to those around me, and I think I am doing a good job of this so far. —Laneceya Russ
What is your position at STAR?
LR: I am the Advocacy Coordinator here at STAR. I would give a more detailed description, but it would take a while.
How did you come to work at STAR and/or in the field of sexual assault prevention/response?
LR: Oh my gosh! My journey has been an incredible one. I first began interning at STAR in the Spring of 2013 as a Communications intern. From there, I went from working part-time as the Communications Coordinator to full-time as the Administrative Coordinator. Next I was Volunteer Coordinator, and now I am in my current position. I got in the field because I was not aware that an organization like STAR even existed. So when I interviewed for the internship position, getting this great organization known in the community was one of my main goals. I wanted to make sure that people in the community knew who we were and what services we could provide for them — and not to mention that all of our services are free of charge. The Greater Baton Rouge community needed to know we were here!
What do you find most rewarding about your work at STAR?
LR: The most rewarding part of my job is knowing how much survivors appreciate me being with them, supporting them, and believing them after they have experienced sexual violence. Also, it is rewarding when I help survivors with a need that they may have and advocate on their behalf for that need to be met by other resources. It is what keeps me fueled in this field! There is no greater feeling!
What motivates you to keep going when things get difficult or discouraging?
LR: The thing that keeps me motivated and going is knowing how many survivors we as an organization have helped so far, but also knowing that we have so many more survivors that we need to reach and who need our support!
What are some simple, day-to-day ways you promote positive change in our community, outside of your work duties?
LR: Some simple, day-to-day ways that I promote positive change in our community is showing respect and kindness to every person I encounter, regardless of how they may treat me. I also try to uplift and encourage anyone I may come into contact with. I strive to be a light to those around me, and I think I am doing a good job of this so far.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant about becoming an active member of the movement to end sexual trauma?
LR: I would let them know that their hesitations are valid. When I first began my journey in this movement, I was very naive about the prevalence of sexual trauma. I had to realize that this issue literally affects everyone. We need some strong, passionate people on our side to aid in this fight if we are going to create a world free from sexual trauma and violence for generations to come.