How One Person Is Making A Big Difference

 

She looks like a typical college coed, sipping a Coke and eating a Danish at Panera’s.

But Paula Walters is a whirlwind in disguise, a force to be reckoned with, as she tries to change the legal and judicial landscape in the area.

Paula’s target is anything having to do with violent offenders and violent crimes: human trafficking, sex offenders, sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence.

She is making a difference.

Paula admits to being exhausted, working two jobs to carry out her mission.  She is a cardiac tech in a local hospital, and also a paramedic.  Her life goal is to be a prosecuting attorney, and she is studying criminal justice on-line.

Her non-profit organization, Standing Courageous, Inc., operates on two fronts: one is educating the people who come in contact with offenders; the other is changing the laws in Ohio. 

It all springs from her personal experience; for that you can look at her website, www.StandingCourageous.com.  But in merely one year, Paula has built an organization of legal and law-enforcement and health professionals, and the word is spreading – rapidly.

StandingCourageous has an activist Board, and a host of volunteers. 

They recently held their first Community Awareness Event, where 100 people heard from Paula’s “educators” how to better handle cases of abuse.  And on February 24th, a fund-raiser will be held at The Bunker on Eber Rd., to enable the organization to spread its message wider.  In its first year, $68,000 worth of free education was provided to first-responders and others; it costs money to make this happen!

Paula credits her SCORE mentor, Ken Hermes, with helping translate her personal goals into an effective organization.   “He taught me how to ask for money,” and “he steered me to the Toledo Mud Hens’ revenue-sharing program, where our volunteers worked for 20 games.”      Ken also helped to form the Board of Directors, which started with five members, and has grown to nine.  He insisted they develop a strategic plan to guide them into the future.

As Paula says, “it’s all about change: changing the system and the way people view human abuse.”  It has become her passion, where “saving one victim is a victory, every day an opportunity to save a life, give somebody a tomorrow.”

Founder/CEO Paula Walters at Panera’s