Announcing the winners of the Governor’s Pathfinder Awards for Victim Service

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today recognized Katie Adam, Jenn Grubb, Cheryle Gahring, Lydia Lynes, Amaya Rodriguez, LaQuisha Anthony and the Center County YMCA as recipients of the Governor’s Victim Service Pathfinder Awards for their work with crime victims. The annual awards are administered by the Office of Victims’ Services (OVS) in the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquecy (PCCD).

“I’m pleased to announce the honorees who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to help victims of crime,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “By highlighting their accomplishments, we recognize their remarkable contributions to their communities and the victim service provider space.”

The Allied Professional Award was presented to Katie Adam, Dauphin County’s senior assistant district attorney. She worked with victim advocates and law enforcement to educate the Amish community about sexual abuse, which resulted in numerous leads being reported to police. Taking on the role of not only an experienced prosecutor but also a compassionate advocate, Katie will often use the courtroom as a classroom, educating the jury on the effects of trauma and victims’ misunderstood reactions to trauma.

The Community Service Award was presented to Center County’s YMCA, which was recognized for its Darkness to Light program and anti-hunger program. Darkness to Light Stewards of Children is a training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and respond responsibly to child sexual abuse. Their Anti-Hunger Program, Backpacking Program, and Summer Lunch Program also offered free food to community members and children.

The Individual Direct Service award went to Jenn Grubb, who has served as Medical/LGBTQ+ Counselor Advocate for Roads to Peace since 2019. They have built strong relationships with local medical organizations through their medical advocacy work and gained access to the very closed Amish and Plains communities in their area. Jenn is also recognized across the state through her participation in statewide coalitions.

The Individual Organizational Capacity Building Award was posthumously presented to Cheryl Gahring, who was with the YWCA Lancaster for 14 years, most recently in the role of Chief Impact Officer. Cheryl was instrumental in securing a YWCA National Hallmark Program called TechGYRLS for the YWCA Lancaster to support young women and girls. Supported by counselors and educators within the Center for Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling, the program empowered children ages 9 to 14 to identify women pursuing STEAM-related careers. The award was accepted in her memory by her son, Derek Gahring.

The Prevention, Education, and Outreach Award was presented to Lydia Lynes, who served as Laurel House Community Education Coordinator. Lydia took her burgeoning community education program and developed it into a sustainable and exemplary resource for domestic violence prevention in Montgomery County. She studied and developed best practices for student interaction and engagement by creating games, videos and interactive presentations to meet the needs of each school.

The Outstanding Student Activist Award was presented to Amaya Rodriguez, a student at Lebanon Senior High School and a victim and survivor of a sexual assault. She has organized protests and strikes to draw attention to issues of unresponsiveness and support for students who disclose sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

LaQuisha Anthony received the Survivor Activist Award. A victim of abuse as a child and a victim of sexual assault that resulted in pregnancy as a college student, she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to urge senators to amend Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations on adult sexual assault cases in the United States change college age. Her testimony influenced an important change that directly impacted college-age adults.

John Delaney, Chair of the Victims Services Advisory Committee, oversaw the awards ceremony at the PCCD. The event’s keynote speaker, Karen Widdoss, was the 2021 Pathfinder Award winner for Survivor/Activist.

PCCD’s mission is to improve the quality, coordination and planning within the criminal and juvenile justice system, facilitate the delivery of services to crime victims and increase the safety of our communities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kirsten Kenyon, 717-265-8505

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