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About the Founder & CEO

My Story

Working as a Chemical Dependency Counseling Assistant and Life-Skills/Self-Sufficiency Mentor before beginning my journey into the criminal justice field as a Victim Advocate, I gained extensive experience in supporting victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, children affected by abuse/neglect, families of homicide victims, individuals with mental health/chemical dependency diagnoses, and individuals who have been impacted by trauma inside and outside the criminal justice system.

I have presented on an international and national level to professionals in the law enforcement, medical and mental health fields, victim advocates, prosecutors, and various community partners and individuals on best-practice approaches in trauma-informed care, strengthening multi-disciplinary teams, the importance of victim advocacy, sexual harassment, and many other tailored training and speaking engagements.

Through consultation, training, and technical assistance, individuals can work towards:

  • Developing strategies and protocols for implementing trauma-informed practices and policies.

  • Enhancing leadership and supervision styles, build strong, diverse, and inclusive teams, and develop techniques to sustain dedication and morale with employees.

  • Strengthening engagement and support for youth, parents, and educators by identifying and strategically addressing existing barriers and influencing resiliency.

My Passion

My passion for helping others motivates my mission in reaching diverse audiences, building resiliency, and empowering others to strive for their goals. No matter where we start, there is always a finish line. The paths we take can lead us to great destinations with hard work and self-determination!


Our outlook on how we envision ourselves and our passion for doing the work that we do can make all the difference in how we interact with individuals and how we envision our goals.


Marya L. Simmons

Fou​nder & CEO

Hands Up
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