Roberta has worked at the Child Advocacy Center since November 2009. She has a BS from Moravian College and a MA in Health Services Management from Webster University. She also has a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University. Since moving to Fayetteville in 1993 she has been involved in the work of local nonprofits. She was the Executive Director of Better Health, the Director of Resource Development for United Way of Cumberland County, founded a nonprofit foundation and served on various nonprofit boards as both a member and officer. She teaches fundraising and grant writing workshops for the United Way of CC, is a Stewards of Children Authorized Facilitator, and has completed two national trainings for forensic interviewing. Roberta founded the Ryan P. Kishbaugh Memorial Foundation and Ryan’s Reindeer Run in memory of her 17-year-old son who died from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse Roberta is passionate about her work at the CAC. “I made a vow as an adult to do something to help children that had been victimized by abuse, so when I was offered the position as Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center in 2009, I felt my life had come full circle. I could never restore the childhood that I was robbed of, but I could free myself from my abuser’s control over my adult life and I could help other children. Many years after first becoming a victim of abuse I was given the opportunity to facilitate the healing for so many other children through my work at the CAC.”
Sharon previously worked for the Department of Social Services for 10 years and the Cumberland County School System for 20 years as a social worker and supervisor. After retiring from full-time employment with CC Schools, she returned to CC Schools to work as a part-time Social Worker. When those part-time positions were eliminated she wasn’t ready to stop working and decided to apply for the Victim Family Advocate position at the Child Advocacy Center. Sharon joined the CAC staff June 2011. Sharon loves working with and helping others. In her role as a Victim Family Advocate she can help others during difficult times and try to encourage them. Her motto has always been to treat others as she wants to be treated. Fayetteville has been her home since she was 16 and she has been involved in the community and with other organizations, which gives her insight and resources to help the families that come to the CAC. “I was fortunate to have grown up in a loving home. I love spending time with my husband, children and grandchildren. I enjoy working with the members of the MDT and the CAC staff.”
Rayquelle started her professional career with a Bachelor of Social Work, and later went on to graduate from East Carolina University with a Master of Social Work. During her career, she has had the privilege of working with children and families for over 13 years, in a variety of settings, including mental health, child protective services, the hospital setting, and overseas with soldiers and their families. She originally came to Fayetteville due to the military, moved out of the area, and subsequently returned. Upon her return to the area, she learned about the Child Advocacy Center (CAC), and a position that was available for a Forensic Interviewer/Victim Family Advocate. Because of her beliefs in the agency’s mission to provide a safe and child-friendly setting, that supports the prevention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse, she decided to apply for the position. “I hoped that I might be able to use my education and past work experiences to help support the agency’s mission. Since starting my new position with the CAC two years ago, I have most appreciated my opportunities to talk to children and families, being an integral part of what I hope are the first steps in their healing journey. I am thankful for the training and information I have received, for the support of my co-workers, and admire the strength shown by the children and families that we work with each day!”
Jan began working with the CAC on January 25, 2010. She received her BS in Community Health Education from UNC-Pembroke in 1998. She has a background in child development, family violence, child abuse, sexual assault, victim advocacy and community health education programs. Her work experience includes working in domestic violence and child abuse shelters/organizations, working as a military victim advocate, implementing violence prevention programs, implementing pregnancy prevention programs and working in children’s advocacy centers. Prior to joining the CAC as a Forensic Interviewer, Jan worked in Georgia at the Enotah Child Advocacy Center and Family Visitation Center, as the Program Director and Forensic Interviewer. She has successfully completed several national forensic interviewing of children trainings and has conducted over 2200 forensic interviews. Jan is a faculty member for ChildFirst North Carolina, and is also a trained facilitator for several other programs to include: Adults and Children Against Violence Prevention Program; Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children; Family Group Decision Making Facilitation, Triple P (Positive Parenting) Program and several adolescent pregnancy prevention programs. Jan loves this CAC due to the dedication and drive of each staff member, the Board of Directors, all the Volunteers and the Multi-Disciplinary Team members she has encountered during her employment. She loves being a Forensic Interviewer because the interviewer is usually the first person a child talks with, that just listens to the child. Jan loves watching the CAC and the MDT grow within our community.
Faith loves working with people. Eight years ago, when she began work at the CAC it was primarily with volunteers, helping them find ways they could give back to their community that both benefited the CAC and met the volunteer’s needs at the level of involvement that they wanted. Over the years her role shifted to add the child abuse prevention programs to her job duties. She soon discovered that she had a passion for educating our community about the effects of child abuse and how to prevent, recognize and report it. She currently manages on average 100 volunteers who range from high school students, facilitators and folks who want to assist with office help. “I enjoy being involved with people, investing in the lives of others is so important to me. When I can assist those volunteers, who want to give back in some way but are not sure what or how they can, and as we discuss their abilities and interests I am able to match them with what is needed for the CAC, a great relationship develops. This past spring volunteers helped us deliver 12,000 pinwheels that were placed in various locations throughout the community. Each one of those pinwheels represented the bright future that we believe each child deserves. As a community, we need to come together to determine that we want child abuse to STOP! We must make every effort to ensure that all children live in stable, nurturing and loving environments—at home, school and in the community. On a personal note, I am married to Scott and we have two aspiring young adults!”
Renee is one of two part-time Program Assistants at the CAC. Retired from Cumberland County Government with 32 years of service, Renee also worked three years with NC State Government. After state budget cuts in 2011, Renee felt fortunate to be hired with the Child Advocacy Center in April 2012. Renee has an Associate’s degree in Business Administration/Public Administration from Fayetteville Technical Community College and a Bachelors degree from UNC-Pembroke.
Renee’s position works mainly with the families and provides support to the Forensic Interviewers and Victim Family Advocates. She also is the first face people see when coming to the Center Monday – Wednesday. Renee spends a large part of her day answering the phone, scheduling appointments, greeting, assisting and supervising families in the reception area and entering data into the database. While Renee enjoys the variety of duties and working with the other staff of the CAC, she particularly enjoys the interaction she has with the families. No two days are alike and that is what Renee feels is the most unique aspect of working for the Child Advocacy Center.
Latisha joined the CAC on July 5, 2016. She works Wednesday through Friday sharing the position of Program Assistant with Renee Pridgen. As a Program Assistant, she schedules the forensic interviews, assists the families that come to the CAC and supports the Prevention/Volunteer Coordinator position working closely with the volunteers and the community prevention programs. Latisha was the 2016 Cumberland County Champion for Children Award winner in the Volunteer Category. She was recognized for her more than 12 years of volunteer service to Ferguson-Easley Elementary School. “I chose to work at the CAC because of my love for children. I have been working with children since 1998. The best parts about my job are my wonderful co-workers and the great job we do every day making the lives of children in Cumberland County just a little bit easier to handle. I love The CAC!” Latisha can sometimes be found in the guise of Pinny the Pinwheel, the CAC’s beloved mascot.
Meghan is the newest staff member to join the CAC. In 2015, she graduated Cum Laude from Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. After graduating, she was blessed with the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mother to her newborn and 6-year-old son. For Meghan, the Child Advocacy Center is “home,” this is where her social work journey all began. Meghan did her field internship for her BSW at the CAC working under the supervision of Sharon Koonce. “The staff members are all wonderful and remarkable mentors. As a Victim/Family Advocate, I will have the opportunity to provide advocacy services as well as coordinate intervention services. I will also be able to provide support, answer questions, and maintain tracking of all cases seen at the CAC. I look forward to serving the Fayetteville community and the surrounding areas.”
Oretha is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). In addition, to her formal school education, she is certified in a variety of evidence-based treatments. She has specific trainings and certifications in three trauma focused treatment modalities: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), EMDR and Voices.
In the summer of 2015, she moved from East Hartford, CT to Fayetteville and became one of the primary clinicians assigned to the Child Advocacy Center through our partnership with Cape Fear Valley Community Mental Health. She saw this as serendipity as her first full-time job (after undergrad) was as a Child Advocate at the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Meriden and Hartford CT. She thoroughly enjoyed her role at the child advocacy center there so when the opportunity arrived to see patients at our CAC she jumped at the chance.
“The greatest joy in my role is seeing the transformation of the children as they are successfully nearing the end of services. I often observe a change in their demeanor and language to something more positive and confirming. My greatest joy is hearing and seeing our youth enjoy the simply things of life with limited to no fears. Therefore, assisting a child regaining that assurance is something I am proud to say I am a part of.”