● By Style
Photo by Dante Fontana
Judy Knapp grew up in an abusive and domestically violent household.
Seeking comfort, she turned to her pets for the unconditional love she needed during those tough years. As she grew, so too did her passion to protect the innocent and dependent beings of the world. “Neither children nor animals were put on this planet to be abused,” she says fervently.
As former director of education and training at The Center for Violence-free Relationships, Knapp became a familiar face at local schools where she facilitated presentations on bully prevention, personal safety, healthy relationships and more. She also created a “Personal Safety for the Developmentally Disabled” program, which helps mentally and physically challenged members of the community learn self-defense and other protection skills. Knapp implemented a myriad of other programs at The Center, including the “Safe Pet” program, which provides animals with temporary shelter while victims escape abuse.
Knapp’s new position as executive director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of El Dorado County brings her new challenges. While her job description has changed, she remains steadfast in promoting respect for our community’s youth. “Every child needs an extra friend,” she says. “A mentor can provide a child with new knowledge, different experiences and a wider perspective of the world. That one person can help a child develop new skills and healthy relationships, and therefore lead a successful life.”
For more about Judy Knapp, and other local happenings and information, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – El Dorado County Foothills edition. Click on the Get Your Copy link on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations; click on the Subscribe link on this Web site to become a regular subscriber, or to order a copy of this issue or one of our back issues, please email email@example.com, or call 916-988-9888.