TCFV Honors the 2016 Young Hearts Matter Advocate of the Year Manor Girls Athletic Coordinator Coach Jennifer Pillich
Austin, TX (February 16, 2016) – Today, Young Hearts Matter, a campaign to bring awareness to teen dating abuse, recognized key leaders across Texas during February, Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. Teen dating abuse happens in every school across Texas and the United States.
Events and programs to raise awareness allow students to come forward and get advice and help before a situation escalates to violent behavior. In today’s environment, technology like social media and texting, can make it easy for teens and young adults to communicate, but it can also make it easy for a dating partner to use technology to harass, control and abuse their boyfriend or girlfriend. The Texas Council on Family Violence is working to make sure students are engaged, educated and empowered to know their rights and know when they are involved in healthy and unhealthy dating relationships.
“Our work forces us to witness the outcomes of unhealthy, unsafe relationships. Texas lost 132 women to domestic violence last year, 5 were 19 or younger,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “We raise awareness during the month of February, not just for the 5 young women who were murdered, but but for the countless other young hearts who are entering, enjoying, and exploring romantic relationships. We recognize key influencers that profoundly shape, guide and empower young Texans. Coach Jennifer Pillich embodies the powerful connection to youth that builds confidence and support.”
TCFV honored Coach Jennifer Pillich, Girls Athletic Coordinator, Manor ISD, Manor, Texas as Young Hearts Matter Advocate of the Year at the kick-off event for SafePlace in Austin. This award recognizes an adult ally who partners with young people, is a leader for violence prevention in their community and has made prevention programming more accessible as a result of her efforts.
Coach Jennifer Pillich was nominated for her passion and leadership to empower young people, particularly girls, in Manor, TX. She is driven by the cause to provide young girls with a foundation for successful relationships and futures, using her position as a coach to lead a movement in the Manor ISD. Coach Pillich speaks and acts from the heart, conveying her love and respect for every young person in her care.
In September 2015, Coach Pillich was one of eleven local coaches and advocates attending A Call to Men’s National Conference entitled, “Sports Culture: Advancing its role in preventing domestic violence and sexual assault.” Energized and inspired, she immediately created a 2-part Empowerment Workshop for over 85 female athletes.
Using the No More campaign as a starting point, Coach Pillich designed T-Shirts, activities, and a Twitter hashtag to share her enthusiasm throughout MISD and beyond – and this is just the beginning!
Coach Pillich served as a panelist who presented to the City of Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force in 2015 and plans to continue her efforts to empower female athletes and promote healthy relationships amongst young people.
How can you connect Texas?
- Download the YHM Toolkit – includes posters, activities, resources and more to make your February events soar!
- Use #OurHeartsMatter – share posts/tweets/photos/events on social media to enter weekly contests!
- Subscribe to TCFV Prevention Brief – stay informed on prevention trends, research, & local stories.