Violet Richardson Award by Soroptimist of Fort Collins

On Tuesday February 18th Josephine Natrasevschi a senior at Fort Collins High School was honored with the Violet Richardson Award by Soroptimist of Fort Collins. The Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award recognizes and honors young women between the ages of 14 and 17 who make the community and world a better place through volunteer efforts this year Josephine Natrasevschi from Fort Collins High School was honored for her project, Protect Yourself.

I am a Girl Scout and have learned the importance of service. I have been an active participant in community service ranging from decorating bags for Meals on Wheels as a kindergartner to my Gold Award Project, Protect Yourself. In 5th grade my troop decided to adopt a nursing home. This was our first major project and we were excited as could be. Our mission was to go regularly and read to, sing to, bring art and visit with the residents of Columbine Nursing Home. They loved to hear about our lives and our adventures (or at least they humored our young and self-centered minds). I earned my Girl Scout Bronze Award through my service with the Columbine Nursing Home. I also learned the importance of SENIORS and how to treasure their stories. This is one of the reasons I am studying to be a certified nurse aid this year in addition to my studies.

At Lesher Middle School, I worked on a service project for the homeless with Northern Colorado Catholic charities “The Mission” to earn my Girl Scout Silver Award. My service included collecting laundry soap, toiletries, crafts, school supplies, wrapping presents for Christmas and cleaning and organizing the mission. What I remember the most was helping teach crafts. I met kids much younger than me and those of my age without a home. They would catch the school bus daily at the shelter for school. I never knew this side of homelessness before and it made me very thankful for what I had previously taken for granted.

While attending Fort Collins High School; I have worked with National Honor Society, Math Honor Society and Science Honor Society to aid the community. Still my most substantial and meaningful project has been with Girl Scouts. I researched, trained, blogged, developed, and taught a class to aid in Sexual Assault and Rape Prevention. I have taught this class in Fort Collins and Gunnison CO, Boston MA, and Providence, RI. I have influenced people in China, India, Australia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and England with my program. Some people have learned hands on from me. Others learn from the instructors I have taught but many have found the information in my blog https://protecty0urself.wordpress.com/ (interestingly enough this blog has formed a sort of community, one of trust and support). I have dedicated over 400 hours to this project and effected over 4500 people thus far.

I have been asked why I chose this project. Rape and Sexual Assault is something that touches all of us. 1 OUT OF 4 women are raped on a college campus and unfortunately I have witnessed the direct result of this statistic through family and friends. A couple of weeks ago President Obama signed legislation to study and help solve this problem. Last week college administrators from all over the nation met at the University of Virginia’s campus for the first ever conference on sexual assault on college campuses. This is an important step. By sharing with each other and compiling a list of information regarding what works and what doesn’t a solution may be found?

I plan to continue my service to the community while in college. I hope to attend Brown University and would like to help establish a Sexual Assault program there. My goal is to provide education and prevention, rape kits on campus, advocates for victims, and therapy for victims. I also believe Student athletes can be used to help educate and prevent rape. I would like to establish this program at Brown and eventually share it with other Ivy League schools to test on their campuses.

Josie Natrasevschi and Coach Conrad Crist

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