Amarely Gutierrez Oliver

Director of Domestic Violence Services, YWCA

Some of the kids I worked with unfortunately would meet their goals, but then they would go backwards and then we would talk about it in session. It was always domestic violence. That was the key for all this, I want to say with 90 percent of my clients. I decided I needed to be more informed about domestic violence. So I got a part-time job working for a shelter that focused on domestic violence. I think I did that like once a week and I fell in love with that.  I saw how the dynamics played out. I saw how it impacted the children that were just witnessing it. I saw how survivors were so strong. Just keep going after being broken down. I really enjoyed it and I loved what I could bring to the table for them and how I can support them. So I did some of that and that's how I ended up shifting my career and life in an instant.

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Amarely Gutierrez Oliver was born in El Salvador in Central America.  She moved to the United States when she was six years old.  Her early childhood was filled experiences of prejudice and her mother and father struggled because of their lack of education and their ability to speak English.  This shaped her identity to become an activist at a very young age.  In college she started a movement to help minority students feel safe on campus in response to cases of harassment by campus police.  Amarely finished college at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and earned her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at St. Thomas University.  She worked with children in the education field and is currently working for the YWCA.  She is the director of Domestic Violence Services which provides many resources for women and children who have been harmed by domestic and sexual assault.  She is inspired every day to work harder for a better community for her daughter to live in.  

Interview
Interview Date: 
April 17, 2017
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