40 Stories - Ebony Russell

Family Advocate

Three years ago Ebony joined PADV as a family advocate. In this role, her responsibilities include case management for families staying at the shelter and managing the children’s program at our Gwinnett shelter. While running the children’s program, Ebony formed a homework help program where tutors came to the shelter four days a week to assist children who need extra help outside of school, organized visits from local humane societies who bring pets in monthly to play with the children and ensured every child had their own birthday party with presents and a cake. 

Ebony also made sure that all school-aged children in our shelter were enrolled in school and receiving any needed additional school services and support.  Understanding the critical role parents play in their child’s development, Ebony provided one-on-one support to moms and conducted parenting classes to help our Mothers build stronger relationships with their children and learn effective, non-physical methods of discipline. A true wonder woman!

Ebony was drawn to PADV because domestic violence was a serious and personal matter in her adult life, as well as the lives of other members of her family. Ebony has taken difficult and traumatic life experiences and turned them into warmth, love, compassion and boundless energy for those we serve.

In one of her most memorable cases, Ebony found herself working with a father who was a victim of domestic violence. He came to the shelter with his teen daughter and absolutely none of their personal belongings.  This included the father lacking any of his daughter’s important documentation, including birth certificates, immunization records and both of their social security cards.  By the time father left our shelter, Ebony had helped him secure a job, get a driver’s license, and restore all of his daughter’s records.   

“It’s okay to ask for that help,” said Ebony. “Help is out there for a reason and PADV knows it can’t always be done alone. We want to help in any way we can.”