Risa Vetri Ferman
45 - Meadowbrook, PA
"My daughter started college this year. When I first saw her application essay, I realized that my years of service and advocacy for kids had truly made an impact on my kids. I give my voice to Mission Kids for many reasons: because it’s the right thing to do for the right reason, because if we don’t stand up to support kids who are hurt by others, what are we, and because I want to be a role model for my own children and show them that we have an obligation to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.'"
During her 19 years with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Risa Vetri Ferman has seen the physical and emotional scars caused by child abuse and labored tirelessly to effect change in the child protection process. After serving fifteen years as a courtroom prosecutor, Risa was elected District Attorney in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. Risa co-founded two local non-profits that provide support for victims of child abuse: the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP), which provides pro bono legal services for abused kids and Mission Kids, a child advocacy center that facilitates the multi-disciplinary team response to child abuse. Risa used her unique role in the community to innovatively improve the ways children's rights were protected. She secured cooperation from all of the county’s 52 police agencies in the third-largest county in Pennsylvania. Through Mission Kids, all of the professionals who respond to child abuse - law enforcement, social services, victims' advocates, medical, mental health and prosecutors - collaborate to ease the criminal justice system to help child victims start the healing process and to keep other kids safe through education and preventative practices.
Risa serves on both MCAP and Mission Kids' boards. She is a vocal public advocate educating the public and professionals about child abuse. Risa is the author of a children's book on Internet safety called The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone and she donates all proceeds to Mission Kids. That's why Risa is a 2012 Woman of Worth!