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PROVIDING A VOICE

Alicia recently earned her RN nursing degree and is now realizing her dream of serving and healing others. However, Alicia needed help herself before she could help others.

Several years ago, Alicia walked into the Child Advocates of Fort Bend, an organization dedicated to providing a voice for children who have been abused and neglected. She was a junior in high school and had been keeping a secret since she was 9 years old. She bravely shared her story with a specially-trained forensic interviewer about being abused from age 7 – 9 years old by a close family member.

From the moment she sought help, Alicia’s life changed. Although her family was unsupportive, Alicia drove herself to Child Advocates of Fort Bend every week to receive intensive therapy to heal from the emotional trauma of her abuse.

Alicia's therapist was Ana Dlouhy, a Fort Bend resident who received a George Foundation scholarship to obtain a Master's degree in social work. She joined the Child Advocates staff as a Licensed Therapist working with Spanish-speaking and bilingual child victims of sexual abuse.

Months of therapy with Ana allowed Alicia to heal her emotional wounds and feelings of shame and helped her to regain her sense of self-worth. Alicia’s therapy sessions empowered her transition from being a “victim” to a strong and self-reliant individual.

After two years, the case went to court and Alicia faced her grandfather. Tragically, none of her family were in the courtroom to support her – only present were her Court Advocate and Ana, her Child Advocates’ Therapist. The case ended in a conviction of her grandfather and for the first time, Alicia felt that she could move on from a childhood that had been violated and years of post-traumatic stress and secrecy.

The George Foundation has been a strategic partner of Child Advocates of Fort Bend for over 23 years beginning with an initial grant to hire the organization’s first staff member. Since then, the Foundation’s support has helped facilitate Child Advocates’ continued impact in our community through operating grants to expand counseling and therapy staff, program grants to launch new efforts to dramatically change outcomes for youth “aging out” of foster care, and lead capital grants for two buildings to house these critical services. Most importantly, The George Foundation is proud to support Child Advocates of Fort Bend so that children like Alicia can begin the journey toward healing.