An Interview with WC SAFE Board Secretary Scott Stewart
How were you first introduced to WC SAFE and how did you first get involved?
I was first introduced to WC SAFE by actually searching the NEW (Nonprofit Enterprise at Work) Board Member postings, which I was incredibly lucky to spot! I reached out to the Board members due to their need for both public relations and marketing assistance and thought I could help. I initially was involved on the Fund Development Committee, helping to plan our two large events and to improve WC SAFE’s brand in the community.
Why do you continue to be involved in WC SAFE?
The incredible passion that WC SAFE’s staff has and the impact that WC SAFE has in the community is remarkable. Being able to grow the organization by continuing to improve operations, funding, and branding allows me to feel comfortable knowing this service is available for all those in need throughout Wayne County.
What are your goals for WC SAFE as the Board Secretary?
My overall goal is to improve efficiency and operations of the Board of Directors so that we can have a greater impact and improve support for WC SAFE’s dedicated staff members. I want to be able to grow the organization to the next level with improved organization.
Share any story about WC SAFE that has impacted you?
WC SAFE started as a small task force and has quickly grown into one of the most silent but most heavily impacted organization in Wayne County. I’ve never seen more dedicated and passionate staff, ones who are willing to give as much time as possible to help victims through these traumatic experiences – being their advocate so they can lead successful and happy lives with relief. This is the only organization providing this type of service in Wayne County and I wish this type of organization existed everywhere.
Outside of WC SAFE, what are your interests?
What other interests? 😛 Mostly, I love giving back to my community and teaching others about the power of social change. I love traveling and exploring the differences in culture in areas both nationally and globally.
About Scott Stewart
Scott Stewart is the Marketing and Development Manager at Oakland Integrated Healthcare Network (OIHN), a community health center in Pontiac, Michigan, and serves at the Secretary on WC SAFE’s Board of Directors. Scott has over five years of dedicated experience in working with nonprofits and social issues focused on children’s health, human rights, homelessness, education, and domestic and sexual violence. His passions involve advocating for those who are silenced, improving communities through grassroots engagement, and solving the complex intersection of social issues. Scott holds a BAA in Integrative Public Relations from Central Michigan University and goes to Wayne State University for his Master’s in Public Administration.
Volunteer Feature: Emilija Kraii
Sexual assault is by far one of the most pervasive acts of violence in society. It is also an area of work that is difficult for those servicing survivors. Programs like Wayne County SAFE rely heavily on the community to provide quality and timely support for survivors of sexual violence. For example, volunteers contribute their time and skills to advocate for survivors of sexual violence. There is no doubt that Wayne County SAFE relies heavily on volunteers to provide outreach to the community, 24-hour crisis intervention, and other forms of support to survivors.
Emilija Kraii, featured in this post, is by far one of our most dedicated volunteers. Serving as a First Responder, she is empathetic, caring and compassionate when working with survivors. We are honored to have her as part of our family! Learn more about Emilija below!
Q: What led you to volunteer at Wayne County SAFE?
A: I, like many other people, was outraged at the discovery of the untested rape kits in Detroit. I’d seen how devastating sexual assault can be to a survivor and their immediate loved ones and couldn’t reconcile this with the low priority status given to the crime. WC SAFE’s mission perfectly aligned with my concerns.
Q: What do you like/love about volunteering at Wayne County SAFE?
A: As a first responder, I feel great satisfaction knowing that survivors of sexual assault are being treated with respect and affection in their moment of crisis. This volunteer work fills me with a sense of purpose and the organization is so welcoming that I continually feel appreciated and part of the family.
Q: Tell us more about your background.
A: I received a Master’s degree in social work from Wayne State University in 2011 and my field placement was in Southwest Detroit working with school aged children. I also worked at the Center for Urban Studies with the resident grant writer. I have been a stay at home mother of two wonderful girls for the last ten years and feel it is now time to put my social work degree to good use.
Q: Why is this work important to you?
A: I feel that this work is necessary and unfortunately a great need. Sexual assault is far too common and its harmful effects ripple out from the survivor into the wider community. Aiding in the healing is important work and very fulfilling for me.
Q: Outside of this work?
A: I have fallen in love with the work, staff, and volunteers at WC SAFE and will most certainly be applying for employment here if an opening comes along. Volunteering here for almost two years has given me a glimpse into the lives of survivors in crisis–I would feel privileged to play a greater part in their healing as well as work on ways to tackle sexual assault on a more macro scale through legislation and community organizing. My career goals underlie my goals as a mother: to be a role model for my girls, help create a better environment for them in which they can grow up confident and strong and teach them that social problems are not intractable when dedicated people work together to eradicate them.