Krissy Zambrano - Support Services Coordinator/CSEC Advocate
Krissy has been with Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services (WCYFS) for 22 months (almost 2 years) but has been in this type of service for 8 years. As a CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) Advocate, Krissy works with minors who are forced into sexual exploitation, they are groomed, manipulated and coerced through the process by someone they believe is trustworthy. Either family members or introduced by friends there is a level of trust in who that person is. The person gets them to believe that no one cares for them like they will, or uses threats that the minor finds viable.
The hardest part of the job is when “I am not able to help all of the people out there in need of our services. Sometimes, they are not ready or able to identify with what is happening to them, or they feel as if they are not worthy of help or cared for by anyone. We are not always able to reach everyone out there that needs our help,” Krissy says.
Krissy continues with the best part of the job, “getting the genuine thank you, when participants are on the road to healing and finding their path and succeeding in goals. When they say thank you; and understand that they are healing and find the worth in themselves. They see that they are someone important.”
“Krissy will always go out of her way to provide services to our CSEC participants. She is dedicated to the youth and always puts aside her own personal needs to make sure that she is meeting the needs of the clients. She has a way to connect with the youth, engage with them and makes them feel as someone that matters,” says Isabel Rios, Supportive Services Manager.
An example of Krissy’s dedication and effort was when one of her participants was struggling with Krissy as a case worker. The participants did not identify with the “CSEC Label” and therefore fought Krissy every inch of the way. “No matter what she said or how she treated me, I came back, and I showed her the compassion and care that she deserved,” Krissy says. Eventually the participant began to trust Krissy and later told her how much she appreciated Krissy for not giving up on her, and how lucky she felt to have someone like Krissy to support her.
Krissy’s advice to anyone struggling is, "Don’t give up on yourself! Help isn’t always in plain sight, but if you keep looking you will find it. Whatever is happening will not last forever, things will change, don’t give up!"
But Krissy is not ALL work! Krissy has a family, and every Friday is movie night at her house. At 7:00 pm Krissy and her kids go to the corner store and stock up on junk food. By 8:00 pm it’s lights off and movie on! “It’s my favorite time,” Krissy says.
WCYFS is proud to have Krissy part of the WCYFS family!