Updated: Nov 16
(Conference on Crimes Against Women | Dallas, Texas| 2022)
Alexis Finnegan currently serves Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC); Minot, North Dakota, as their Domestic Violence High Risk Team Coordinator. She has held her position since September of 2021. While DVCC’s mission speaks true to heart, gathering data-driven analytics is where Alexis knows she is making a long-term impact for rural North Dakota communities.
Her impact started in September of 2020 with AmeriCorps and her year of service to DVCC as a VISTA. As a new graduate in a global pandemic, Alexis stated she had very limited options. She had always considered AmeriCorps as it spoke to her values of community building and building organizational capacity. She joked that she “has feminism running in her veins” and a commitment to service has been a long-time family value instilled in her at a young age. Becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA just made sense. Through the Community Builder Program, Alexis served DVCC for a year as an AmeriCorps member. Her position was a Development VISTA supporting DVCC’s grant writer by gathering data and statistics for grant performance reports, and funding opportunities. Working alongside DVCC’s grant writer, Alexis was first exposed to the data side of Domestic Violence. This data, while alarming, excited her.
“[Data] gives the opportunity to look at the whole picture and fix the problem. By gathering data, we can recognize patterns, and ultimately keep domestic violence survivors safer. We can then focus on prevention efforts and teaching bystander intervention."
Beyond the immediate impacts of her position, Alexis found the experience to be eye-opening. For the first time in her life, she was living at poverty-level wages. She stated that navigating that process was not easy as a young adult, but she was lucky to have the support of the DVCC team to advocate for herself and the ability to use local resources to better support her year of service.
In Alexis’ current role as the High Risk Team Coordinator, Alexis synthesizes information gathered by community partners. With the help of a vibrant and diverse team, Alexis and her team evaluate a client’s risk to be revictimized by their abuser and coordinates safety planning to better serve the individual using a client-centered approach. DVCC created the team in 2019 to provide victim-centered safety planning and support. In 2019, DVCC’s High Risk Team won the Bush Award for Community Innovation and received a grant to support the needs of the program. It is truly an innovative approach to high-risk offenders in the community. Today, the High Risk Team continues to better serve survivors and children to keep them safe.
Last year as part of her service with DVCC, she attended the National Conference on Crimes Against Women in Dallas, Texas. Hearing Tracy Matheson from Project Beloved and other keynote speakers continues to fuel Alexis and her passion for serving survivors of Domestic Violence. She is excited to attend again this year. For Alexis, she knows both her personal and professional growth can be contributed to her year of service with AmeriCorps. She expressed how the experiences she gained as a VISTA have both fed her soul and contributed to her professional development. With the assistance of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, she hopes to continue her education by completing grad school or attending law school. This young professional is going to change the world and it all started with AmeriCorps!