In January 1986, I began my work with CAP at an Elementary training, where over 100 individuals interested in the welfare of children were also in attendance. That training was an eye-opening experience. I came away from it with a better understanding of the issue of child abuse. It helped me to realize that many people are vulnerable to abuse and neglect, and that it was necessary to take responsibility and stand up for the rights of those who could not do so themselves. Little did I know that this initial CAP training would take me on a lifelong journey, providing me with a 36-year career, empowering children (and adults) to be Safe, Strong & Free.
During my career with CAP, I was a facilitator providing classroom workshops in all CAP Programs including; Early Childhood, Elementary, Teen, Special Needs and Bullying Prevention, as well as adult presentations. In 1989, I became a CAP Coordinator for Gloucester County, New Jersey. While Coordinating CAP, I oversaw the running of the program in schools and provided training to CAP facilitators. In 1991, I took over the Coordination of Salem County, New Jersey as well, continuing to gain skills and knowledge in all areas pertaining to child abuse and its prevention. In 1996, the opportunity to work in the NJ CAP State Office as a Regional Supervisor and Coordinator of the TEEN CAP Program was presented. Along with this role came the responsibility of overseeing many of the county CAP Projects in NJ. Ten years later in 2006, our director Pat Stanislaski retired, and Cheryl Mojta and I were selected as Co-Directors of NJ CAP and ICAP. It was an exciting time for us. The experience gained from working with ICAP/NJCAP allowed for significant personal growth which has helped to shape the person I am. In 2020 Cheryl Mojta retired from ICAP/NJCAP, and I took on the role of Executive Director.
Being director has been a wonderful experience and has helped me, even more so, to appreciate all of the individuals that keep this project going around the world. The ICAP Regional Training Centers have been extremely supportive throughout the years. I have been delighted to meet many of these individuals in person through CAP trainings and conferences. Our Advisory Board Members for both NJCAP and ICAP have been instrumental in helping CAP continue its work, and grow. I would like to give a special acknowledgement to Dr. Phil Brown, President of ICAP Board for his tireless work at maintaining the ICAP network.
CAP has given me the chance to work with so many incredible people, with common goals, and to share the knowledge that had been imparted to me by my predecessors. The NJ CAP Network of facilitators, coordinators and the State Office have been my home away from home for over 36 years. It is hard to believe that it is time for me to say goodbye to NJ CAP. On June 30, 2022 I retired from my position as Director of NJCAP. I leave that role in the capable hands of Dodi Schultz and Kim Pinto, who have been with NJCAP for many years and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their new positions. Best of luck to both Dodi and Kim as they lead the NJCAP Network through this next phase.
I am dedicated to the CAP mission which is to improve the quality of life for children worldwide by reducing the level of violence against them through the use of primary prevention education and specifically through the use of the Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Program in their communities. For the future, I remain the Executive Director of ICAP and will continue to work with all the ICAP projects around the world. I thank you all for everything that you have done to empower children everywhere to be Safe, Strong & Free. With that I say adios, arrivederci, au revoir, sayonara, annyeong, dovidenja, zai jian, nagemist and until we meet again.