Elevating the Next Generation of Youth Leaders

Establishing a national model for youth advocacy

The Victim Advocacy Corps, developed by the National Organization for Victim Advocacy (NOVA) with funding from the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), aims to elevate the next generation of youth leaders in victim services. This program will give student advocates the opportunity to bring their fresh perspectives, ingenuity and critical support to the field of victim services.  Our student fellows—hailing from communities throughout the United States—are young advocate leaders who are committed to bridging gaps in victim services and the criminal justice system by fostering accessibility, equity, and inclusion.

This visionary pilot program—developed in partnership with an Advisory Committee of student survivors, evaluators, college campuses, and subject matter experts—will establish a national model for engaging diverse youth leaders in victim services. Over the next three years, NOVA will work with the Advisory Committee to hold listening sessions, develop curriculum, and provide training and mentorship to our inaugural cohort of student fellows, who will participate in a nine-month, paid field placement in a local victim service agency.

“It is important to have young voices at the forefront of our movement. As a survivor of sexual and domestic violence, advocacy has been a form of healing; activism is a way for me to take back agency after experiencing so much trauma and violence.”

– Kaylyn Ahn, Survivor-Advocate, Victim Advocacy Corps Advisory Committee Member

Our campus partners represent a variety of communities and perspectives: Aaniiih Nakoda College, Coahoma Community College, Gallaudet University, Regis University, University of New Mexico, and the University of Texas at El Paso are minority-serving institutions that have shown a strong commitment to supporting students from historically marginalized communities.

We are excited to work with these universities and our program evaluator, Rainbow Research, to elevate and celebrate the voices of students and survivors by giving them a path into victim services. In 2024, we will select student fellows from these campuses to receive: (1) specialized training at NOVA’s 50th Annual Training Event, (2) advocate credentialing, (3) mentorship, and (4) a nine-month, paid field placement in a local victim service agency.

Learn more about the Victim Advocacy Corps

The Victim Advocacy Corps is a pilot program led by the National Organization for Victim Advocacy (NOVA) with funding from the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) that aims to elevate the next generation of youth leaders in victim services. Developed in partnership with student survivors, researchers, and college campuses, the Victim Advocacy Corps aims to heighten diversity and foster youth engagement in victim advocacy. Student fellows from pilot campus sites throughout the U.S. will receive specialized victim advocacy training, credentialing, mentorship, and a paid field-placement in a local victim service agency.

The Victim Advocacy Corps aims to uplift and celebrate the voices of historically marginalized youth and/or college students within victim services. By working with researchers, college campuses, and youth survivor advocates, we strive to ensure the Victim Advocacy Corps represents the needs of underserved communities and offers youth the opportunity to get engaged in both victim advocacy and community service. 

This service corps program seeks to recruit young college students from historically marginalized communities. These student fellows—the Victim Advocacy Corps itself—aim to serve all victims of crime.

Our inaugural cohort of student fellows will be recruited and selected from our partner campuses in 2024. The best way to keep up with the Youth Advocacy Corps is to follow NOVA’s social media platforms, check out our Linktree, or subscribe to our mailing list!

Defining “youth” can be complex. In the case of the Victim Advocacy Corps and its student fellows, we are looking to recruit those between the ages of 18 – 24, or those entering their final year(s) at their respective campuses.

You can direct all questions and media inquiries to [email protected].

While many victim advocates bring their own personal experience, or survivorship, to their work, lived experience is not a requirement for our student fellows to participate in the Victim Advocacy Corps. Likewise, interested youth do not need to have a background in victim services. We invite all interested youth and/or students to apply if they are interested in supporting survivors and their community.

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