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Series: 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

Elijah Lee | 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

April 2024
Elijah Lee is a 16-year-old, and a national advocate for children. His activism started at the age of 10 years old, as he led his first child abuse awareness march, where he rallied the community and educated others about its prevalence. Elijah founded a nonprofit organization, Hear Our Voices, in 2021, dedicated to empowering young people with an emphasis on assisting youth to find their voices and become agents of change.

Angela McCown, LMFT | 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

April 2024
Angela McCown is director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Victim Services Division (VSD), has more than 30 years of experience in the victim services field, and has helped hundreds of thousands crime victims participate in the criminal justice system and thousands of the professionals who serve them. Under Ms. McCown’s direction, the TDCJ VSD has implemented a variety of innovative strategies and programs to better meet the needs of crime victims.

Michelle S. Ballan, Ph.D., MSW | 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

April 2024
Michelle Ballan is a Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the School of Social Welfare; Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine at Renaissance School of Medicine; Research Director for the Stony Brook Early Childhood Clinic; and Director of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) Center at Stony Brook University. Her research and practice focus on the identification and amelioration of barriers impacting the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities and their families. Her groundbreaking work has led to numerous publications delineating the negative impact of intimate partner violence on men and women with disabilities and best practices for service provision.

Joan Meunier-Sham, MS, RN | 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

April 2024
Joan Meunier-Sham is the director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program and is responsible for the statewide delivery of acute adult and adolescent SANE services in 52 Massachusetts hospitals, and the delivery of Pediatric SANE services in 10 of the state’s 12 Children’s Advocacy Centers. She was also the co-director of the National TeleNursing Center (NTC), a pilot project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. In this pioneering project, expert SANEs at the NTC used telehealth technology to provide 24/7 “real time” support and guidance to clinicians conducting forensic examinations for adult and adolescent sexual assault patients in underserved communities.

Hope Research Center | 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

April 2024
The Hope Research Center partners with service organizations to develop, test, and implement a trauma-informed and hope-centered framework to improve outcomes for victims and their families. This research also examines hope as a protective factor against burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and turnover among service providers. The Center offers hope research strategies, including evaluations and applied research projects customized to the needs of an organization and focused on improving program services and achieving client outcomes.

Jocelyn Mejia | 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

April 2024
Jocelyn Mejia is a social worker with the Imperial County Department of Social Services, Children and Families Division in California. She has worked in child welfare for 8 years, and currently works on complex and Indian Child Welfare Act cases in Imperial County, a border community in a rural area adjoining Mexico, the State of Arizona, three California counties, and a Tribal reservation. Ms. Mejia has been instrumental in ensuring that the youngest victims of crime are treated with love, respect, and care.

Herman Millholland | 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

April 2024
Herman Millholland is an independent consultant with more than 22 years of comprehensive management experience specializing in criminal justice and victim services initiatives. As a consultant and national victim advocate, Mr. Millholland uses his strategic planning, financial management, board and fund development, and training and technical assistance experience to provide guidance and advice on public policy matters.

Aswad Thomas, MSW | 2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

April 2024
Aswad Thomas is a community organizer, crime victim advocate, public safety policy expert, and a survivor of gun violence. Throughout his career, Mr. Thomas has brought unprecedented awareness of the unique and urgent needs of victims who are most impacted by crime and violence but who have been historically underserved, with a focus on addressing unaddressed trauma.