Welcome to our Supporter Spotlight Series!
In our Support Spotlight we introduce you to individuals who help further our mission to serve survivors in our community. From time to time we will feature volunteers, staff, and board members so you’ll get to know us better! Meet Noelle Balestrieri, one of our Client Service Center advocates, who will celebrate her one-year anniversary at Community Beyond Violence on March 3, 2022. (Happy Anniversary, Noelle!)
Noelle's Journey Noelle’s journey to become an advocate began at an early age. While a student at Nevada Union High School, she joined the Peer Advocates Club, which was facilitated by a Community Beyond Violence staff member. “It made a really big impact on my life," says Noelle. “Through my participation in the club, I learned how to set boundaries and understand what a healthy relationship looks like.”
During her time as a student at Sierra College in Grass Valley, Noelle worked as a peer mentor for the RISE program (an academic support program for historically underserved students), and as an office assistant in the counseling department. Two years later, as a student at University of Nevada, Reno, she majored in Psychology and Sociology. After graduating, she became a Registered Behavior Technician at Juvo Autism and Behavioral Health Services in Grass Valley before joining Community Beyond Violence. Noelle says that when the advocate position at CBV was posted, she felt it would be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect; to be involved in the same organization that helped her when she was young. No Typical Workday There is no such thing as a typical workday for our office advocates. In addition to providing support over the phone, Noelle and her advocate co-workers meet with clients in the office and provide peer counseling; they also help survivors with filing restraining orders and accompany them to court. Collaborating to Serve Survivors In addition, they contact other organizations in the community to coordinate services for our clients. Another significant portion of an advocate’s job involves extensive case management that many survivors need. “Case management can involve working with one client throughout the entire eight-hour day,” says Noelle. “I also have consistent contact with clients throughout the week to check in with them and continue helping them get connected to resources.” She facilitates our free weekly Support Group for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors on Thursdays from 5:30-7 p.m. at our Client Service Center.
Rewards & Challenges Noelle says the most rewarding aspect of her position is getting to work directly with people in the community, always getting to be part of a client’s journey and supporting them in reaching the goals they’ve set for themselves. The most challenging aspect? “This is very heavy work, so self-care is important so we can be fully present when working with clients.” Backstory A bit about Noelle on a personal level: She moved to Grass Valley from the Bay Area with her family at age three. She has a cat named Fifi—who she says is very sweet–and she plays guitar and piano. Noelle says she enjoys living in this community, getting to take hikes and being in such a beautiful place. Her favorite quote is from the book “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle: “You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.” Vagina Monologues Cast Member Noelle will be one of our readers at Community Beyond Violence’s presentation of The Vagina Monologues (on April 23 at the Center for the Arts). “It feels really special to be a part of this and I'm really excited to work with so many other amazing people in our community," she says. We are so happy that she volunteered to be one of our cast members!
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