She doesn’t wear a uniform, and she doesn’t patrol the streets, but Alexa Petersen is helping to prevent crime one day at a time.
As a membership associate for the non-profit, bipartisan organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Petersen regularly partners with sheriffs, prosecutors, police chiefs and survivors of violent crimes in educating the public and policymakers about the importance of investing in children as a means for preventing crime.
“We keep our members informed on what works to keep kids from becoming criminals, and we release various reports on these research findings and their policy implications,” Petersen said. She also coordinates member participation in press events and congressional meetings, and she briefs them on any and all related legislation.
“I am constantly impressed with our members’ commitment to speaking out on the prevention side of law enforcement,” said Petersen, who majored in psychology. “We can stop people from ever turning to crime if we give them adequate support and education when they are young.”
Motivated to work for Fight Crime as a result of Wittenberg’s commitment to community service, and her own interest in public policy and politics, Petersen said she has found the fast pace, the traveling and the opportunity to meet leaders from across the country to be highly rewarding.
“I have learned so much about children’s policy,” she said. “The research out there is so compelling; one study showed that children not in high-quality pre-kindergarten were 70 percent more likely to commit violent crimes.”
Now in her second year with the Washington, D.C.-based organization, Petersen, who previously worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and interned with Habitat for Humanity, said she plans to continue to work for the betterment of others.
“I love working for an organization whose mission inspires me and where I can make a difference.”