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What does outstanding achievements in the field of sexual abuse prevention look like? Ask these three advocates.

During IGNITE 2021, our fourth annual National Prevention Conference, Darkness to Light recognized individuals who have gone above and beyond to further the mission of child sexual abuse prevention. Awards presented included Instructor of the Year, Facilitator of the Year, and the Partner in Prevention Leadership Award. The recipient of each award has committed their time and energy to a grassroots prevention movement and has accomplished meaningful progress toward child safety in their community. 

We are so grateful for the amazing partners that work tirelessly in their communities to protect children from sexual abuse. From dedicating their time to promote prevention via trainings and conversations, to ensuring that organizations in their communities provide child-safe environments, our Authorized Facilitators and Certified Instructors are the foundation of Darkness to Light. Each one embodies our core values. Because of their tireless work, we have trained over 2 million adults to protect kids from child sexual abuse, across 50 states and 76 countries. 

Sexual Abuse Prevention | Tracy Leonard: Instructor of the Year

Certified Instructor of the Year 

Tracy Leonard, California 

This award is given to an Instructor who shows outstanding commitment to supporting Facilitators and developing new prevention initiatives. Tracy has spent the last few years building a new, expansive network of child advocates throughout California. A mentor and motivator to new facilitators, she has also pioneered Virtual Facilitator Workshops, leading the way with co-instructing, mastering the technology, and mentoring new virtual instructors on it.


Sexual Abuse Prevention | Bonnie Jean Kuras: Facilitator of the Year

Authorized Facilitator of the Year 

Bonnie Jean Kuras, North Carolina 

This award is given to a Facilitator who has shown incredible dedication to prevention education and child safety through training initiatives, innovation, and perseverance. Bonnie Jean was an early supporter of the new virtual training model. Because of her optimism and willingness to try something different, Bonnie Jean trained 1,235 adults during 2020 – more than any other facilitator during that same year. 


Sexual Abuse Prevention | Virginia Baker-Jeffcoat, Partner in Prevention Award

Partner in Prevention Leadership Award  

Virginia Baker-Jeffcoat, Georgia 

This award is given to a Facilitator or Instructor who has committed their time and energy to a grassroots prevention movement. Virginia is sparking change in her community by meeting adults with messages of prevention wherever they may be, but in barbershops and beauty salons, particularly! Recognizing that these small family businesses are often located in under-served parts of the community, she saw the opportunity to provide Stewards of Children® training at a highly accessible level. More than 20 businesses have started or completed Partner In Prevention applications in the last year because of Virginia’s efforts. This innovative approach to the Partner in Prevention program inspires us all to think about unconventional avenues to reaching more adults in our community – ultimately protecting more children.

When we talk about creating lasting impact and cultures of safety, their work is a perfect example of what we mean. Individuals like Tracy, Bonnie Jean, and Virginia have sparked hope in communities all over the world as they have passionately worked towards the global goal of a world without child sexual abuse.  Here’s what each award winner has to say about the work they do:  


Want to be recognized for your contributions to sexual abuse prevention? Become a 2022 National Award Winner: 

Become a Darkness to Light Authorized Facilitator
  • Darkness to Light Authorized Facilitators bring Stewards of Children® and other prevention education to their communities. They teach adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse and engage adults in their organizations and communities in child safety. 
Foster innovation and community engagement 
  • To make the greatest impact, Facilitators must be willing to think outside the box. Every community is different and it’s the responsibility of the Facilitator to find out how to best connect with the people they’re serving.  
Join Darkness to Light’s latest facilitator programs. 
  • Facilitators First is a collaborative facilitator support program designed to reinforce facilitation skills, strengthen community engagement activities, and enhance organizational efforts. 
  • The Empowered8 program is a recognition and development program that recognizes the top 8 facilitators in the world who are driving bold individual, organizational, and community transformation. 

If you’re interested in learning how to prevent abuse and protect the kids in your community, you can find out more here 

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