MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

January 27, 2013

Items tell stories of Groom’s journeys

Mission work has taken Kids’ Space advocate around world

(Continued)

Learning to do

the right thing

Lindsay Groom said she grew up in a family that was “always involved in social justice and caring for others.”

Civil rights runs deep in the family.

“My grandmother Doris Ricketts was involved in the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) and setting up Head Start,” Groom said. “When I was a kid, we always could have an opinion. That was always instilled in us, most of all, that we mattered.”

Groom said her grandfather on her father’s side was a counselor with Muskogee Public Schools who worked with low-functioning kids.

“We’re Christians. We love God. That’s what we do,” she said, adding how fortunate she was to have parents who lived what they said.

“My mom was in a contest back in the 1960s, but she dropped out because the contest didn’t allow blacks,” she said. “We always called my mom Honest Abe.”

She said Jesus is her main inspiration. So is the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“I admire his consistency,” Groom said. “My parents were young when Martin Luther King was active, and they were influenced in a positive way by him. That’s how we were raised.”

Groom said she admired the consistency her parents displayed in their work and activities.

Becoming an

advocate for kids

Groom said she “kind of fell into” her job as a family/victim advocate at Kids’ Space, the Muskogee County Child Advocacy Center. Kids’ Space seeks to offer a coordinated, community response to victims of child abuse or sexual assault and to non-offending caregivers.

She said she had just returned to Muskogee from overseas and was staying with her parents.

“My aunt worked at the Nonprofit Resource Center and said Kids’ Space was hiring,” Groom recalled. “I wanted to work somewhere in child advocacy, but I was not sure what it was.”

She recalled calling the Kids’ Space director, introducing herself and admitting that she was not qualified for the job. However, she landed a position as a volunteer coordinator, which she held for a year and a half.

Groom spent six months in Texas on a consulting job but returned to Muskogee. While interviewing for another job, she visited friends at Kids’ Space and landed the job she has now.

As a family/victim advocate, Groom handles many client services and facilitates education services.

“We have a protective parenting program with the Department of Human Services,” she said. “It helps parents when they try to regain custody of their kids. It’s like sexual abuse awareness. It gives parents the opportunity to better take care of their kids.”

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