By: Abby Glaser, Encompass Community Advocate
Our outreach coordinator, Hollie, asked us to "get personal" this month in our blog posts. There is very little as personal for me as examining why I am so passionate about the work I do! If you don’t know me, hello! I’m Abby Glaser. I am the community advocate at Encompass. In simplest terms, my job is to come alongside families in crisis and help them navigate their way to a better future. Families end up in my office due to a broad array of issues…
domestic violence, substance use disorder, homelessness, child welfare involvement, etc. But there is one thing they all have in common: the need for an advocate.
Many have the odds stacked against them and desperately need someone on their team. I have the honor of filling that role! The “why” of my passion goes directly back to my own life. I am a survivor of abuse, neglect, and sexual assault. Through many of the struggles I endured as a young child, I had no control and no voice. As with all children, I was at the mercy of the adults around me. Unlike some, I was fortunate enough to have a mother who fiercely advocated for me throughout my childhood. But my journey to finding my voice and learning how to use it was long and difficult. While I often wished for a “white knight” to rush in and save me what I really needed was to be taught to trust my own intuition, to set boundaries and enforce them and to advocate for myself. Those are exactly the things I work every day to teach my clients!
Often people confuse advocacy as being a voice for the voiceless. The reality is that advocacy is all about helping another find their voice and use it! One of the most incredible parts of my job is seeing someone learn to speak for themselves. While I may be there to encourage them and hold their hand, they are taking control of their own lives. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity every day to help someone in a way, that at one time, I needed myself. My past has led me not only to this career path but to being diligent about teaching my five children the same concepts. When I reach the end of my life I hope advocacy will be my legacy! That I will be able to look back over a (hopefully LONG) life and see many individuals whose lives I’ve helped change. I can’t think of a more fitting outcome!
Whether you're looking for a new start or just some guidance and growth in your relationship or parenting abilities, you can get in touch with Abby or another knowledgeable and sincere advocate or coach at Encompass Connection Center by following the links below.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.