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Lori - Roadmap to an Advocate

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

What do you do for a living?

I run endcan: The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect. I'm also a therapist with a private practice and a motivational speaker traveling all over trying to make people happy.


What path did you take to get here? I was abducted at three years old (Lori was kidnapped from her front yard by a stranger who abused her and placed her in the pit of an outhouse toilet for 3 ½ days until her rescue by bird watchers) -->after the kidnapping I had forensic interviews to prep me to testify against my abductor -->I was influenced by one of the psychiatrists, decided I wanted to help people and knew I was good at making people feel like they mattered-->in high school I started a group for kids sitting alone at lunch–>I wrote a business plan for a camp for kids to attend to experience connection, love and to heal from pain, which has become the driving force behind most of what I have gone on to do -->graduated high school-->got a Bachelors in Mass Communications-->worked as a motivational speaker and at a residential treatment center for abused kids-->switched to a finance career for 5.5 years, mostly being more of a therapist for clients to figure out how they got into financial distress-->went back to graduate school to get a Masters Degree in counseling-->had both daughters while in grad school-->worked at CO Coalition for the Homeless as case manager-->was promoted to leadership roles and program re-structuring positions, which combined my clinical and financial background--> opened my own private practice, adding holistic healing modalities to the practice as it grew-->got contacted by a retired MD and dean of CO medical school that wanted to open endcan organization-->consulted with him for a year and then accepted Executive Director position


What does a day at your job look like?

My primary goal in each of my roles is to help people see possibility and hope despite hardship. In every meeting, session, or presentation I educate and converse about how it's possible to heal after going through difficult things; my mission is to covert how we look at child abuse from a horrific secret to a beautiful opportunity to heal and survive. Survivors feel alone and isolated because they don’t have a structured movement dedicated to their healing.

What are the Challenges of your job?

1. Fear of the unknown – it’s scary not knowing what the outcome of any job will be. Fear can be debilitating. I’ve never failed at anything and sometimes I worry about failing to raise all the money we need to bring this issue to light. Having to ask for money isn't easy for me.

2. Imposter syndrome – who am I to be in this role and to tell people what to do and how to do it? I’m just another human being.


What are the blessings of your job?

I hear so many stories about people coming out of darkness and transcending their experience. My grandchildren will not have to grow up in a world where abuse is a secret, it will be everyone's business. And it’s exciting to be a part of that change.

What 3 characteristics do you have to possess or develop to do your job well?

1. Courage

2. Commitment

3. Diversity in the way you look at things. Be able to develop a clinical point-of-view as well as a financial, compassionate, and business-oriented point-of-view.


What 3 steps would you recommend someone if they’d like to do what you do someday?

1. Surround yourself with people who are already doing what you want to do. I call them “expanders”. Find as many as you can.

2. Take one bite at a time

3. Chew slowly – when you go too fast you can miss al lot of steps. Go slow. Rome was not built in a day


IG: @lori.poland, @endcanorg

www.endcan.org




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