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Polanco, Andres (Andy)

Director of Community Engagement

Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center

Andres (Andy) Polanco first began working with survivors as a sexual assault advocate with the YWCA of Greater Lawrence. Since then, he has branched out to become a part of the Haverhill Community Violence Prevention Coalition and has gone on to work at Haverhill High School as a Drop-out Prevention and Student Support Specialist where he gets a chance to work directly with young men. Andy stresses the importance of working with young men in particular because of the attitudes that they sometimes come to adopt. Andy signed on as one of the first WRD Ambassadors because it reflected his commitment to encouraging men to discuss the problem openly with others. While Andy is encouraged by some change he has seen, he cautions against comfort and complacency. “One thing that I have learned is that we still have a long way to go. This isn’t something that is going to change overnight.” However, he is optimistic that this type of work can make a profound difference. “Something that we have to realize is that this isn’t just a campaign, it’s a lifestyle. We have to be patient and keep encouraging men, keep speaking up, keep putting these ideas out there.”

Polanco, Andres (Andy)
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