Within your story– lies your truth.

As a trauma and sex-abuse survivor— I have run from, fought, and danced with my heroine’s journey and story. It took me nearly 30 years to disclose my abuse– and has taken me even longer to be able to articulate or process certain aspects of what has made me the resilient woman that I am today.

For those you know about ACE or the Adverse Childhood Experiences scoring– I have an extremely high ACE score— from a trauma perspective– and statistically– I should and do face a number of health and wellness challenges even as an adult. It is important to me as part of my philanthropy vision and my own trauma growth to not only continue to process my own journey– but to walk along with others who have faced various challenges and trauma as a guide to sharing their stories in ways that provide healing, recovery and belonging.

My first nonprofit was working with teen girls in juvenile corrections within cultural sharing circles. I had not done work behind the fence– for over 10 years—but in 2018– I had the incredible honor to work as part of the organizing team and specifically as a speaker coach for TEDx Perryville Correctional. This was the first TedX event to take place at an all-female prison complex. Speakers from within Perryville’s incarcerated population, and as well as members of the public, presented on topics and provided artistic performances that are related to the theme. Working alongside Michelle Cirocco and the incredible women at Perryville will forever be one of the greatest honors of my life.

I am especially proud of Erica Munoz– who shares aspects of my trauma story and who so powerfully shared in her talk– the movement through trauma that is part of every heroine’s journey.

I have since the Behind the Curtain event done additional speaker coaching specifically for those with a traumatic story and have developed a specific speaker coaching process to align your story with the audience in a way that brings forth strong messaging.

My ACE score does not define me– but for many people– especially women– they set us forward on a path that is not of our own choosing. I strongly resonate with Audre Lorde’s quote– that says:

I am not free while any women is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

Audre Lorde

I am also very fortunate to have Dr.J as my friend and we coached the women together for this event. She surprised and blew us all away at the TedX event with this original spoken word piece— which includes 1 line for each of the women who participated in the event as volunteers, organizers, speakers, performers or on the planning team.

This is about standing back up together and silencing ANY STORY that tells us– this is the end.


“We’ve all experienced some sort of prejudice in our lives and we’ve focused our theme to look behind the curtain and see the good that comes from someone’s journey of transformation.” – Michelle Cirocco