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Building Networks of Support: Survivor Link at NC State

(From Left to Right): Lizzie Rohs, Dr. Maura Nsonwu, Jenny Campos, and Paola Hernandez volunteer at a collaboration event between Wolfpack Beds and Americorps Survivor Link.

Over the past year and a half, the NC State School of Social Work has collaborated with Americorps and a group of 13 universities to provide services to survivors of domestic violence, promote healthy relationships, and build capacity within agencies to respond to domestic violence.

This program, known as Americorps Survivor Link, has had a significant impact on North Carolina and 10 other states. Utilizing a network of nearly 100 social work students, Survivor Link has worked diligently since 2021 to improve knowledge about domestic violence and promote the usage of evidence-based interventions for survivors.

At NC State, the inaugural cohort began with the 2022-2023 academic year. Consisting of one BSW student, Grace O’Daniel, and two MSW students, Jillian Buckley and Sarahi Hernandez. Dr. Maura Nsonwu has been the Faculty Coordinator for this program, with Dr. Stephanie Francis assisting with the student selection process and training.

To prepare the Survivor Link cohort, they were given 148 specialized training hours covering topics such as domestic violence among refugees and immigrants, intimate partner violence, sustainably serving survivors, older adults, veterans, and more. The trainings, led by the Survivor Link programs at Arizona State University and NC State, would diversify the student’s approach to unique issues within their local communities.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, the three students trained 115 community members across five different agencies, accumulating a total of 1,889 service hours. You can find the complete synopsis in the image below.

To build on the success of the inaugural cohort, the 2023-2024 cohort has already begun and added a fourth student position. The new NC State Survivor Link cohort includes Ashley Telli and Jennifer Campos (both BSW students), as well as Jillian Buckley and Lizzie Rohs (both MSW students).

Dr. Maura Nsonwu has already applied to continue this program into the 2024-2025 academic year. She hopes to spread the influence of the Survivor Link program throughout the Triangle and beyond.