Welcome to April! A new month means it is time to meet our new Changemaker of the Month, Christy (Pavano) Heiskala! From La Mesa, Christy is a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Trainer and Victim Advocate and the married mom of three teen girls and one teen boy. She currently assists Chelsea’s Light by doing legislative consulting for Chelsea’s Law which consists of data mining and researching the impact Chelsea’s Law has made by connecting with the District Attorney’s offices across California. She loves hiking, paddle boarding, sailing, snorkeling and live music. In her spare time, she promotes positive change as a member of the Lawyer’s Club Human Trafficking Collaborative, a C.A.S.A., Court Appointed Special Advocate, for Voices for Children, and a Certified Facilitator of Stewards of Children for Darkness to Light.
Clearly, she is our kind of people! Let’s hear more about Christy in her own words:
CLF: How did you get involved with CLF?
CH: We were involved in a criminal case for the teacher who molested my daughter at the time Chelsea was murdered. I felt an instant connection to the King family. I spoke about Chelsea at the sentencing and wore orange in her honor. Then my daughter and I walked in the first Finish Chelsea’s Run a month later and every run since. In 2015, CLF honored my daughter with a Changemaker award for her courage to speak up and stop a child molester. It was presented to her at Chelsea’s Run by Bonnie Dumanis. I asked Kristie Grover how I could get more involved and she invited me to join the Chelsea’s Run Planning Committee for the 2016 Run. She also asked me to help with Chelsea’s Law by researching and data mining the impact Chelsea’s Law has made.
CLF: How many years have you been involved with CLF?
CH: Technically two years but it’s been a part of my heart and my message since the beginning.
CLF: What do you like best about Chelsea/CLF?
CH: I love that CLF makes an impact on local high school students by encouraging them to be Changemakers and providing them with scholarships. Chelsea has inspired countless number of students and continues to do so even seven years after her death. I am so impressed that the King family continues this important work year after year when they could choose to do other things with their time. I love to see all the families at Finish Chelsea’s Run each year. The Finish Chelsea’s Run is a nice annual shot in the arm of inspiration for the community to remember they can make a difference and remember the spirit of Chelsea and Amber Dubois.
CLF: What is your vision of CLF 5 years from now?
CH: It would be great to see CLF making a difference across the State of California and/or nationally. That would increase the volume of high school students who would be encouraged to be Changemakers and provide more scholarships.
Christy – we are blessed to have you as one of our Changemakers and thank you for doing the hard work of keeping our children safe for years to come!