South Carolinian to receive "Nobel Prize for public service"

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's become known as the Nobel Prize for public service. The Jefferson Awards are a prestigious national recognition system honoring community champions for their achievements and contributions.

Past winners include Barbara Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and Peyton Manning. Now a South Carolinian will be added to the list.

The letter nominating Rosalyn Moses called her a "one woman show who's a quiet hero."

When you meet Moses, you can tell she keeps it real. It's one of the reasons she's making such an impact on her students through her weekly empowerment group called "This is Girl Power!"

The girls engage in real talk about everything from healthy relationships to self-esteem.

Helping children and adults work through those kinds of emotions is a big part of what Moses does as executive director of the Family Resource Center. They provide counseling and other services for victims of rape and child sexual trauma.

Moses has a heart for helping victims because she understands their pain.

"Having been a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and as an adult a survivor of rape and a teen mom, which are all the things we do at the Family Resource Center, having experienced all of those things when I walk into a room, when I sit with a survivor, when I'm at the hospital in the middle of the night with a woman who's been raped, I understand," said Moses.

Moses first came to the FRC 21 years ago as a volunteer. Board member and mentor Dr. Althea Truitt says this agency represents Moses' identity.

"Rosalyn had all these qualities with her and the mission of this agency brought them out, the mission of the agency demanded what Rosalyn had to give," said Truitt.

To many, the demands of this job would be overwhelming, but Moses has a way of meeting victims where they are.

"I try my very best to be what they need in that moment, whatever that is," said Moses. "Whether it's a hand to hold, comforting word, and it's humbling to be able to walk on that journey with them."

Moses is a living testimony of "getting beyond it", but there are days that take her back.

"I can remember doing a presentation at a school and a child disclosed while I was doing the program, then afterwards we talked about what had happened to her. It sounded like my story. And so immediately, there came this wave of heat over me and I kinda, I stood still and I remember looking at her and thinking. 'Oh, my goodness,' but quickly, I jumped into but now you can affect change," said Moses.

That's why prevention programs like Girl Power are so important. It helps to make sure the girls grow up to be strong, smart women and understand they don't ever have to be a victim.

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