Families First Family: Meet Mollie Burgess

Published: August 28, 2017

"I love what I do and I want to enhance it.”

Mollie Burgess is busy. A bilingual Victims Advocate, she spends most of her day advocating for the rights of her clients who have been victims of partner violence or sexual assault. At her office at LaPlaza, an east-side organization whose mission is to support the Latino/Hispanic community, she extends the mission of Families First to the Spanish-speaking population of Central Indiana.

Mollie joined Families First in 2013 and her origin story is a tad on the dramatic side. On a very cold and icy winter day, she was making the drive from Bloomington to Indianapolis for her interview and got in a car accident. “The roads were slick,” Mollie shared, “I lost control and hit a guardrail. I called my dad crying, I didn’t know what to do, and he asked if the car could still start—so I tried to start it up and had no issues. I wasn’t hurt and neither was anyone else, so I went to the interview.” And of course, she got the job. In addition to her primary role, Mollie also serves on Families First’s Diversity Committee as a Chairperson. With the committee, she helps plan big community engagement opportunities for staff like the Circle City Pride Parade and smaller educational opportunities like panel discussions about the refugee experience in Central Indiana.

A step-up employee, Mollie has helped translate Families First PR material into Spanish, leads support groups for survivors of domestic violence, and is currently in the new class of Next Generation Leaders a professional development series aimed at helping newer staff grow in their understanding of leadership and opportunities at Families First. Outside of Families First, Mollie enjoys teaching yoga at Treehouse Yoga in the Old Northside neighborhood, volunteering as a Kitchen Lead at Second Helpings and. . . getting ready for law school.

Her reason for applying was pretty matter-of-fact; “I’ve always known I wanted to help people. I love what I do and I want to enhance it.” Mollie often must accompany clients to court or suggest legal services, because the resources she offers as an Advocate can only go so far. In the fall, she will begin her J.D. Program studies at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, which will only increase her capacity to help families and individuals going through challenges and changes.

See, Mollie Burgess is busy.

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