In photo left to right: Leon Strimel, Grace Coleman
Individual Prevention, Education & Outreach Award
Nominator: Grace Coleman, Executive Director, Crisis Center North
Award Recipient: Leon Strimel, Lead Prevention Educator, Crisis Center North
Before coming to CCN,
Leon Strimel worked as a guidance counselor in a local school for 35 years.
During that time, he helped countless students with their struggles with his
empathy, compassion, and wisdom. After his retirement, Leon joined Crisis Center
North (CCN) to continue his long history of excellence in improving the lives
of youth in our community.
Leon has been
instrumental in growing curriculum and impact of CCN primary prevention
programming. When he first joined in 2010, programming impacted about 2,000
students annually. Last year alone, over 13,000 students were reached through
programs: Developing Health Relationships with Ourselves and Others (DHROO),
Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM), and PeertoPeer Empowerment (PPE).
Relationships with Ourselves & Others (DHROO) assists students in gaining
knowledge, examining attitudes, and effecting positive change in behaviors. The
strategy generated massive program growth for the Center's prevention education
Coaching Boys Into
Men (CBIM) engages with young males in athletic settings to decrease instances
of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) while fostering positive gender attitudes
and bystander intervention. One CBIM participant noted, “We learned how to be
role models, not only in our school but society. We learned to lead by
example.” Due to the level of success Leon attained utilizing the CBIM curriculum,
Futures Without Violence invited CCN to attend a round table discussion in 2015
to discuss his findings.
(PPE) helps youth address IPV and dating violence. This program speaks to Leon’s
dedication not only to innovation, but to empowering students. Students from 12
local schools take the initiative to be leaders by developing a IPV or dating
violence project to implement in their school community.
Leon’s efforts with
PPE have gained national attention. In February, a documentary crew from
Investigative Discovery filmed a presentation by Dr. Gary Cuccia of the Demi
Brae Cuccia Awareness Organization that was being simulcast to 11 schools. The
event was organized by students participating in the program under Leon’s
guidance. In addition, Leon has been involved with FISA Foundation,
participating in promotional material production for the Southwest PA Says No
Leon Strimel has
dedicated his life to empowering youth, and his work as a prevention educator
at CCN is just another extension of his life’s mission. His passion,
creativity, and innovation made CCN’s primary prevention efforts what they are
today, and countless
students have not
only benefited, but, also work to create community change through their own
Mr. Strimel was presented the award on May 9th, during the 14th Pathways for Victim Services Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
On behalf of victims of crime and the victim services field, we thank you, Mr. Strimel, for your innovation, collaboration, and unfailing commitment to victims of crime.