NCVLI Staff Spotlight: Julie Hester
Julie Hester joined NCVLI in 2010 and is currently our Programs & Communications Coordinator. Click here to read Julie’s bio or read on to learn more about Julie in her own words.
Why did you first get interested in working with NCVLI and victims’ rights?
I actually came upon NCVLI by chance and fortunate timing. Right around the time NCVLI received a new US DOJ grant, I was in contact with one of the Staff Attorneys who mentioned NCVLI was hiring. Previous to learning about NCVLI I had never heard the term victims’ rights. Upon learning about what NCVLI does, I was immediately interested in learning more and getting involved. Thankfully it was a good match and I have been involved ever since.
What one thing has surprised you or have you learned about victims’ rights since you started at NCVLI?
The thing that has surprised me most since starting at NCVLI is learning that victims actually have rights (I had previously only known about defendants’ rights) but that in most cases they are unaware they exist and that often this lack of knowledge results in those rights not being enforced.
As an organization what is NCVLI’s greatest strength?
Hands down, NCVLI’s greatest strength is the staff. I have never worked with a more knowledgeable, intelligent, dedicated, and genuine group of people. It is an honor to come to work every day and be inspired and challenged by my co-workers.
If you could change one thing about the current victims’ rights environment, be it legal, political, public recognition, victim social/psychological services, etc., what would it be?
I would like everyone to know that victims actually have rights. I have never talked to a single family member, friend, or acquaintance about what NCVLI does who is already aware of victims’ rights. It is a rare person who has not been impacted by crime either personally or who doesn’t know someone who has. If we are all aware that rights exist, victims are more likely to demand their rights at moments and in ways that will help them in the aftermath of crime. And this is good for everyone.
What are your hobbies?
I most enjoy being with my kids, but also reading, tennis, running, hiking, exploring new places, home improvement, and anything that gets me outside and moving around.