Nancy Willis has always had a passion for helping children.
Originally from Augusta, Maine, Willis worked with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services for 19 years. She retired from the job on April 30.
She is currently the interim executive director of the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center (CAC). The 15th Judicial District CAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to reduce the trauma of child abuse and to facilitate the healing process. The organization offers children a safe, comfortable haven, and according to its website, it has served nearly 1,000 families since its inception.
Willis said the most rewarding part of her current role is being able to help children and their families who have experienced trauma to start the healing process and advocating for the prevention of child abuse. She added the most challenging part of her job has yet to be experienced.
"Overall it would be not having enough resources to meet the needs of abused children and educating the community on how prevalent abuse exists in our community," she said.
In her spare time, Willis enjoys sewing, photography and working in the yard. She also likes to read and make puzzles.
Willis has a daughter, Karen; son-in-law, Tommy; and four grandchildren, Alexanna, Victoria, Taylor and Logan.
She most admires Sister Mona Guertin. She said she "set the course for my future in the seventh grade, made me aware of God's presence in my life, provided guidance through high school and to this day.
"She was my rock during times of loss and trauma, providing support, stability and unconditional love."