• Crystal Stryker

VSC will honor Shea Rhodes, Jalla Atkins, Nancy Corrigan Briggs, and Christina Lu on June 12, 2022

Updated: Jun 4


(Norristown, PA) -- Victim Services Center of Montgomery County (VSC) will recognize 4 outstanding individuals who have made a difference in victim services at its annual fundraising event to be held Sunday, June 12, 2022, from 2-4 PM at the Upper Gwynedd Parkside Place at the Pavilion located at 1 Parkside Place, North Wales, PA.




Attorney Shea Rhodes, Esq., director and co-founder of the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, will receive the VSC Leadership Award, presented to a leader of an organization or an institution that has taken the responsibility to influence an environment that is sensitive to the needs of victims of crime and child abuse.


Shea M. Rhodes is standing facing the camera with the City of Philadelphia in the background. She is wearing a black dress, a gold necklace, and has brown shoulder-length hair.
Shea M. Rhodes is director and co-founder of the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.

“We commend Ms. Rhodes for co-founding and directing the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation and her leadership in empowering victims and advocating for their rights and increasing awareness about the impact of sexual violence,” said Mary Onama, LMSW, VSC’s Executive Director who nominated Ms Rhodes for the leadership Award. "“We appreciate Shea’s extended influence on a global level to highlight the broad scope of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”


A 2021-2022 Fulbright scholar, Ms. Rhodes’ career includes representing victims of crime at VSC and serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. She continues to work and advocate for victims’ rights via direct legal services, supporting legislation that protects victims, working to introduce and promote policies that are sensitive to victims. She is an expert on laws pertaining to sex trafficking and commercial exploitation.


VSC will also present the 2022 Matty Muir Awards.The Matty Muir Award is named after one of the founders of VSC and is presented to individuals, organizations, or community leaders who have contributed significantly to the support of victims of crime or education of the public about preventing crime and child abuse.


Jalla Atkins, RN SANE-A, CEN Coordinator, Forensic Nurse Examiner Program at Abington-Jefferson Health

Ms. Atkins is director of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program at Jefferson Health—Abington. Ms. Atkins leads efforts to create a safe, welcoming place at Jefferson Health—Abington for survivors to receive private, trauma-informed medical care. Ms. Atkins, who lives in North Wales, regularly provides training on trauma-informed practices for medical providers and members of the law enforcement community.


“Sexual assault is one of the most traumatic types of crime a person can experience,” explains Erin Milbourne, VSC’s Direct services supervisor, who nominated Atkins for the award. “Ms. Atkins has been tirelessly working on creating a space where survivors can get care in a safe, private location. Each year many survivors of rape in Montgomery County benefit from her compassion, expertise, and advocacy.”


Nancy Corrigan Briggs, MFT, CEAP, SAP, VSC Volunteer

Nancy Corrigan Briggs is a community member and dedicated VSC volunteer. A resident of Collegeville, Ms. Briggs is an active member of VSC’s fundraisers' committee and works to advance VSC’s mission.


“Nancy Briggs gives her time to support VSC and for the last 7 years, has been a member of VSC fundraising committee. She is an amazing and tireless supporter of VSC and we are grateful for her work to support victims of crime,” said VSC Executive Assistant Lynn Williams, who nominated Ms. Briggs for the award.











Christina Lu, Philadelphia Central High School student, activist for nonviolence and unity among all communities


Christina Lu is a philadelphia central high school student who stepped in to assist victims of a racist, hateful attack on a SEPTA train in Philadelphia. “From the moment I stepped in I didn’t care who either party were. I only cared to deescalate the problem,” she told CBS Philly in December 2021.


“We commend Ms. Lu for her courage in stepping in to assist others in need of support. Her actions in being a bystander exemplifies the type of bystander intervention we teach at VSC,” said Mary Onama.





Tickets available now


Tickets are available online. Each ticket is $30 and includes a box lunch. Container gardens will be available to purchase at the event site. Mystery bags will be available to purchase between June 2 and June 9 on BiddingOwl.com. Proceeds will support VSC services for victims of crime and their loved ones.


Sponsors


This fundraising event is made possible by the generosity of the following sponsors:


Jeff Chirico Team at BHHS Fox & Roach REALTORS

Mark Bomon ("Bo") Connell, Villanova Law School

Family Guidance Center Kristen M. Gibbons Feden, Esq.

Carrie Gish, Esq.

Innovation and Exploration STEM Early Learning Center Mannion Prior, LLP

TD Bank The Philly Lawyers Law Offices of R. Emmett Madden

If you wish to sponsor this event, please contact Lynn Williams by calling 610-277-0932 x. 221 or by sending an email to Lynn-Williams (at) vscmontcopa (dot) org.


About VSC


Our mission is to provide advocacy and counseling for all who have been affected by sexual violence and other crimes against the person and to promote sensitivity and awareness in the community through education. VSC serves all residents of Montgomery County regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or income level. Victim Services of Montgomery County, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our 24-hour hotline can be reached by calling 888.521.0983.