Valerie Craig, Director of Education

Valerie has been married for 14 years and has three young children, ages 5, 3, and a baby. Valerie’s experience working specifically with victims of crime spans 14 years, but she has always had a passion for helping people in need. Valerie graduated from MTSU with a BS in 1997. She began her career of helping people in 1995 -1997 when she worked as a Camp Counselor for Easter Seals Society of Tennessee, providing primary care for children and adults with various mental and physical disabilities. After graduating from MTSU she worked at Knox County Head Start in Knoxville, TN, 1997 -1999 as a Support Services Specialist where she provided social services and support through in home visits for low-income families and their preschool aged children. Though not working directly with victims of crime, this experience provided the foundation for direct victim services as she was afforded the opportunity to observe and intercede in families who were struggling emotionally. From 1999 – 2002, Valerie began her work with victims of crime at Senior Citizens, Inc. (currently Fifty-Forward, Inc.) helping elderly victims of crime maneuver the justice system and offering them assistance in restoring their broken lives. She provided direct service to elderly victims reeling from all kinds of crime victimization – domestic violence, assault, burglary, scams, embezzlement, robbery, and rape. From 2002 – 2012, Valerie served as Director of Education at You Have the Power, a crime victim advocacy organization where she created, planned, implemented, and presented hundreds of forums and public presentations about crime victimization topics such as child abuse, domestic violence, acquaintance rape, child sexual abuse, internet dangers, and elder abuse. She is an expert presenter on these crimes and has presented at numerous conferences. Valerie Co-authored a victim impact curriculum that is being used throughout the United States and in Ireland. She also co-authored resource guide books to raise awareness about the problems of acquaintance rape, child sexual abuse in the faith community, and Methamphetamine. For the last 7 years, Valerie Co-facilitated five weekly victim impact classes in local prisons to incarcerated men, women, and teen girls, teaching thousands of offenders about accountability and the impact they have had on the lives of their victims. She also has presented numerous “train the trainer” trainings on facilitation of victim impact programs to Corrections and Probation’s professionals. She effectively worked in collaborative settings to plan numerous statewide conferences and community projects, chairing many of the collaborative efforts.

Current Associations:

2001 – Present, Chair of Crime Victims’ Rights Week (CVRW)
2002 – Present, Season To Remember Planning Committee (Plans annual holiday
ceremony for Davidson County homicide victims)
2006 – Present, Tennessee Department of Correction Re-Entry Collaborative
2008 – Present, Hermitage United Methodist School for Little People Board Member
2012 – Present, Providence UMC Building Committee Member

Past Associations:

2001 – 2008, Easter Seals Camp Advisory Council
2006, Executive Committee for Drug Endangered Children’s Alliance
2002 – 2011, Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence
2002 – 2004, Chrysalis Board, Secretary
2001 – 2002, You Have the Power, Steering Committee Member
2004 – 2005, “Andrea Walks” logistics coordinator for walk across Tennessee

Awards:

Corrections Corporation of America Volunteer of the Year Award, 2012
Statewide Victim Advocate, Board of Probation and Parole, 2010
The Tennessean’s “Top 40 Under 40”, 2002
Senior Citizens, Inc.’s Staff Salute, 2001
Nashville Volunteer of the Week, 1997

Message from Valerie