In FY 22, National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) received an award from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) under the solicitation entitled Field-Generated Solicitation: Increasing Options and Expanding Access for Victims of Crime to create the Youth Advocate Leadership Corps pilot program comprised of about 15 college students representing intersecting marginalized communities, including racially marginalized, indigenous, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and immigrant communities, from five geographically diverse communities to participate in a paid victim advocate fellowship program. These promising leaders will receive trauma-informed training, mentorship, professional credentialing, and technical support to prepare them to serve in community agencies responding to all forms of crime victimization, including homicide, mass violence, hate crimes, sexual/domestic violence, elder and child abuse, trafficking, and missing and murdered indigenous/Black women. The primary activities of the project include: 1) Assess needs within the victim services field to define the vision and framework for the Youth Advocate Leadership Corps; 2) Develop, launch and evaluate a pilot program shaped by the voices of historically marginalized survivors; and 3) Establish a national model for engaging diverse youth leaders in the victim services field. Beneficiaries of the program will include historically marginalized survivors and under-resourced community agencies in each of the five pilot communities, as well as the larger victim services movement.
This non-competing supplement will allow NOVA to add an additional institution of higher learning to this project - the Gallaudet University, a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students. This institution was considered in the early planning stages but not included in the FY22 award. In addition, the supplemental funding will allow the grantee to host a town hall meeting in early 2023 to officially launch the fellowship program at the University of New Mexico, one of their project partners. OVC staff is expected to attend the event.