This week marks the 27th Anniversary for our Executive Director, Sandra Leonard!
Sandy began her work with the Women’s Resource Center by volunteering on the Board of Directors. In 1990 she transitioned to becoming the new Executive Director. Since then she has spent her time dedicated to helping victims of crime throughout the Arkansas Valley.
When Sandy started her service with our agency we were called the Women’s Resource Center and only served female victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Quickly, Sandy began working towards expanding the agencies services to include men and women, their children and victims of other crimes. It took several years and a lot of perseverance but in 1996 the Women’s Resource Center became Arkansas Valley Resource Center. With that change we also began serving all victims of violent crime.
As many people know, rural areas tend to have many obstacles when it comes to accessing various resources. With Sandy’s assistance, AVRC has always strove to collaborate with as many area agencies and businesses as possible in order to better assist our clients. One of those innovative programs includes our Law Enforcement Advocacy Team.
In 1996, there were several statutes added at both State and Federal levels that require Law Enforcement Agencies to make Victim Advocates available to victims of violent crime. Our rural area Law Enforcement agencies were going to struggle to find and apply for the funding to cover this requirement. Sandy met with various Law Enforcement officials in our service area and together they were able to create a plan that benefited everyone. This is how AVRC’s Law Enforcement Advocacy Team was created. AVRC is able to dispatch Victim’s Advocates to all of the Law Enforcement Agencies in Bent, Crowley and Otero counties as requested to assist with any victims of violent crime. AVRC was one of the first agencies to create this type of team. Since then several other agencies have followed suit throughout the state of Colorado.
During the last 27 years, Sandy has volunteered for various Boards and Committees both locally and statewide. There are countless other areas in which she has assisted people in our area and ways she has kept our agency open. Our staff, clients and community are fortunate that she continues to be a visionary for Arkansas Valley Resource Center.
Thank you for your dedicated service and congratulations for celebrating 27 years!