Team Spotlight for December: Jennifer Atkisson, Youth Advocate
1.) How long have you been at Prevail and what is your position?
I have been at Prevail two years. I am a youth advocate, working primarily with adolescents and teens. I facilitate Healthy Relationships groups at Fisher’s and Hamilton Southeastern High Schools. I also facilitate Prevail’s group for teens at Agape in Cicero.
2.) What do you like most about working for Prevail?
I am grateful to work for an organization that is committed to ending violence within our community. Prevail has multiple components of the organization that work together and complement each other so well. Through the Primary Prevention team, individual services and groups, and continuing education for staff, I feel as though Prevail has a unique position to support community healing, growth, and change.
3.) Who is your hero?
My hero’s are those who seek to heal from wounds that they are not responsible for. I so deeply admire those who have the courage to seek self-improvement and acknowledge that future generations can do/be better. You are the real MVPs.
4.) What is your favorite quote?
I have a lot of favorites. I am a “quote-y” person. My top 3 are:
1. You have every right to a beautiful life.
2. We can do hard things. – Glennon Doyle
3. The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time. – Brene Brown
5.) What would you sing at Karaoke night?
Spice Girls “Wannabe” or Destiny’s Child “Independent Women” – something that I can get the crowd involved with!
6.) What motivates you the most to serve others?
I love the lightbulb or “ah-hah” moments. A turning point in the healing process. The moments when those that I am working with acknowledge that their future can and will be different than what they’ve experienced. Having an understanding equals empowerment and I feel so honored to help foster those moments.
7.) If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Does “Mexican” count? I’m counting it.
8.) What is your proudest accomplishment?
I think my proudest accomplishment so far is becoming an advocate. I truly feel that advocacy is where I am supposed to be and the work I am called to do. I am so fortunate to have found Prevail. My biggest accomplishment will be embodying that for those I work with.
9.) What animal do you most identify with, and why?
My dogs make me a better person every day. Dogs’ hearts are so pure. They live to have fun, take naps, and give love. What a great reminder to live in the present. If I could live a day in the life of a dog (specifically mine – I’m biased 😊), it’d be a great day.
10.) Favorite Prevail memory?
A bunch of moments come to mind, rather than one big experience. A teen telling me how attending Agape group changed their life. A teen overcoming their apprehension around Odle to connect with him. A teen making the decision to leave an unhealthy dating relationship. Connecting with co-workers to provide support to a whole family. Each of those moments are amazing in their own way.
11.) Favorite self-care practice? – I feel my best when I exercise, get enough sleep, and eat well. The days those things align make a big difference for me. And spending time with my dogs – always.