Watch a recording of Elizabeth Irvin ’93 receiving the 社区服务奖 on 4月il 18, 2023.
20多年了, Elizabeth Irvin ’93 has dedicated her career to providing compassionate and effective mental health care for women who have experienced trauma. She is this year’s 社区服务奖 recipient, selected by the 永利体育 校友 Association.
Irvin says she was surprised when she was told about the honor. “Knowing all the amazing work and service done by our fellow classmates, 更不用说永利体育基斯的校友了, I could not imagine how the committee came to select me,”她说。. “I am deeply humbled, grateful, and proud to receive this award.” She will be honored during a ceremony on campus in 4月il.
Irvin is the executive director of 妇女倡议, a nonprofit with multiple locations in Charlottesville, VA, that empowers women in times of challenge and change. She joined the organization in 2009 as its first Spanish-speaking therapist. 后不久, she founded the Bienestar program to create a safe space for Latina women to heal and grow. Irvin became executive director four years later, and under her guidance the agency has become the second-largest provider of mental health care in the Charlottesville area.
妇女倡议 offers trauma-informed, culturally responsive care—regardless of ability to pay—through services such as walk-in and call-in wellness clinics, 个别咨询, 团体和社会支持, and education and outreach programs. Recognizing the importance of affinity-based healing, there are specific groups to support Black women overcoming racial trauma through the Sister Circle program, as well as unique offerings for the LGBTQ+ community. The organization is committed to racial and social justice and addresses barriers to care such as cost, 耻辱, 语言, 文化, 和运输. “COVID has heightened the already significant need for mental health care, 以及对黑人的不同影响, Latinx and other communities of color have deepened,欧文说.
When Irvin arrived at 永利体育 as a lower mid, she already knew she wanted to pursue a career as a therapist. "I feel so privileged and fortunate that my parents encouraged me to go to 永利体育. I had many great teachers there,”她说。 in her September 2018 本月最佳校友 profile. “I am appreciative of my time at 永利体育, which taught me to think critically and globally. It gave me some of the greatest friendships and best memories of my life."
Irvin received a joint degree in law and social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining 妇女倡议, her work with survivors of trauma began at the San Miguel Resource Center, a domestic violence and sexual assault crisis agency in Telluride, CO. She also helped incarcerated women through an alternative sentencing program in Asheville, NC.
作为一名治疗师, Irvin says she emphasizes a strengths-based perspective as she supports clients on their healing journeys from past traumas. She believes that every person possesses the strength and resilience they need to heal. "I get to bear witness to a woman's courage to heal and regain her strength,欧文说 in her 本月最佳校友 profile. “I am honored to come to work every day.”
提出了每年, the 社区服务奖 honors the service contributions that 永利体育 graduates have made to their respective communities, 是否当地, 国家, 或国际. The award seeks to recognize individuals who—in the estimation of the Nominating Committee of the Board of Governors of the 校友 Association—demonstrate through their volunteer and/or vocational endeavors an exemplary sense of caring, 倡议, 和独创性.