Cecelia Zaragoza receives Courage of Conviction Award

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Domestic violence survivor is role model for others.

by Rachel Southard – 


Cecelia Zaragoza is a Salvation Army employee and recipient of the Courage of Conviction Award.

Cecelia Zaragoza, a one-time victim of domestic violence, is more than just a survivor—she is now a role model for other women who have suffered from this crime and lived to learn from it. This energetic three-year employee of the Phoenix, Ariz., Salvation Army started as an Elim House advocate, recently becoming the lead advocate. Her dedication to the women of Elim House Domestic Violence Shelter was recently recognized when she was selected as the 2006 Courage of Conviction Award recipient.

Each year the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence selects one dedicated individual who works toward the empowerment of women and their families that have fallen victim or are survivors of domestic violence. “Cecelia is a dedicated advocate for all women, living a peaceful, powerful existence; a mentor to our clients and employees; and is the anchor of both her own family and the Elim House family,” said Mimi Rodriquez, Elim House director. “She is a woman who speaks her mind with that balance of strength and humility, and has taken every woman who has passed through our doors under her wing.”

Before coming to work for The Salvation Army, this single mother of two spent nine years of her life helping those less fortunate at the UMOM (United Methodist Outreach Ministries) New Day Centers. For over a decade, Cecelia has dedicated her life to helping those in need, and continues to get joy out of helping women and their families in need on a daily basis. “I am honored to have received this wonderful award, but feel it is not necessary,” said Cecelia. “The only reward I need is seeing the faces of the women who have been empowered through our program.”

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