Meet some of the amazing people who make our programs - and our impact - possible.
Vicki's SCAN Story
Ten years ago, Vicki Strimel was sworn-in as a volunteer with SCAN's CASA Program. In that time she has advocated for 20 children in Alexandria's court system, helping each of them to find safe, stable homes.
Vicki's decade of commitment has been marked by her calm, patient demeanor and special ability to balance her strong focus on the child's best interest with support for their parents. Her invaluable work has meant that nearly all of her CASA children have been safely reunited with their parents. Now that is truly something to celebrate! Thank you, Vicki!
Roxana's SCAN Story
Ask children in SCAN's Chiquitos playgroup about Roxana, and they're likely to talk about the special cakes she makes for birthdays, the costumes she wears to tell stories and the pictures she takes of them and their families.
But Roxana's true gift to the playgroup is her energy and dedication. Two years ago, Chiquitos lost its facilitator and the group's future was uncertain. Roxana came forward with a commitment to keeping the group alive, and has since been the powerful force behind its growth and success.
Do you know someone like Roxana? SCAN's Parent Education facilitates a number of playgroups, parent support groups and parenting classes, and ALL depend on fantastic volunteers to make a difference in the lives of children and families.
Kimberly's SCAN Story
With roots running deep in Alexandria's nonprofit and volunteer community, Kimberly O'Donnell has long been a strong supporter of SCAN. This year she became president of SCAN's Board of Directors, bringing with her a career that includes Executive Director experience with the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau, consulting work as a fundraising coordinator, and a position at Gifts In Kind International. For nearly eight years Kimberly has been working at WealthEngine to support the fundraising efforts of nonprofits across the country. She is also an adjunct professor teaching nonprofit leadership at Georgetown University through The Fund for American Studies.
"The SCAN cause is near and dear to my heart," said Kimberly, who first joined SCAN's board in 2003. "I grew up in Leesburg, Va., with six brothers and sisters, and my parents took in foster children and were avid volunteers. I saw first-hand the power of a supportive family."
Prior to joining SCAN's board in 2003, Kimberly held a number of volunteer leadership positions, as well as serving as an emergency foster parent for Volunteers for Emergency Foster Children (VEFC). While on SCAN's board she has participated on the development and public education committees.
A mother of two small children, Kimberly believes that we each have the power to impact families, saying: "As a community there is much that each and every one of us can do to support a child's development and nurture families."
Doug's SCAN Story
Doug Brown is a SCAN Board Member who knows what it means to truly make a difference for children. He is currently the Child Protective Services (CPS) Supervisor in the City of Alexandria, and has also worked for the Virginia Department of Social Services and Fairfax County Child Protective Services. Doug was a Peace Corps Volunteer and also a residential and community counselor with various local organizations.
"As a social worker in child protective services we respond to concerns about child safety, often having to react to situations where children have already been abused or neglected," said Doug. "Serving on the SCAN Board, I'm able to support programs that focus on the prevention of child abuse and neglect."
Doug has been a true leader for SCAN, serving as President, Vice President and Legislative Chair at various times over the last decade.
"Supporting programs that can intervene before a child has been hurt is one of the rewards of working with SCAN."
Lexie's SCAN Story
Lexie is a volunteer with SCAN's Parent Education Program. A student at a local high school, she recently volunteered her time to support the childcare during SCAN's popular ABCs of Parenting Classes.
"I like volunteering with SCAN, because I love working with the kids, and the staff is amazing!" said Lexie. "I like spending my time helping for a good cause!"
What an inspiration Lexie is for all of us to remember how simple - and important - it can be to think about others and then put those thoughts into action!
Giselle's SCAN Story
Giselle Pelaez recently visited the radio studios of Clear Channel Communications. she wasn't just there for a tour - in fact, she was on sight to record two new Parenting Today radio shows for SCAN.
Parenting Today is a regular segment produced by SCAN and Clear Channel focused on helping parents build stronger families. SCAN recently started inviting special guests - like Giselle - to bring their own knowledge and expertise to the recording studio, and ultimately to the thousands of parents listening to popular radio stations like HOT 99.5 and WMZQ 98.7 on weekend mornings.
Giselle works for the Center for Alexandria's Children, but she is also a member of SCAN's Allies in Prevention Coalition. Through the Coalition, she networks with other child advocates, gains valuable public education materials AND finds opportunities - like the radio show - to reach a much broader Northern Virginia audience with messages of support and prevention.