ROCKFORD (WREX) — Providing a safe place for families.
That's the mission of Children's Safe Harbor and it's leader, Megan Brechon.
The Rockford native has been the executive director of the family service center since 2014, but her desire to help people has been present her entire life.
"Wanting to help others or do things for others or care for others I think was always a part of my makeup," Brechon said.
While the general idea to help others was always at the forefront, the focus of her nurturing wasn't immediately clear when she was in school.
"I thought maybe I'll be a teacher and I entertained that for a little while and then I thought well maybe I want to work in the criminal justice field of psychology or sociology," Brechon said.
The path Brechon ultimately went down led her to Remedies Renewing Lives where she worked as a domestic violence advocate for over seven years.
While she was there, the work she was doing seemed to speak out to her.
Like she had found her calling.
"Watching them and their growth and their strength and their courage and being a part of that. I liked it and I was good at it," Brechon said
Brechon's talents eventually brought her to Children's Safe Harbor where she helps families who are dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault.
One trait that sets CSH apart from other centers is that it works with the entire family and after a separation has happened from the abuse.
Brechon's job is to make sure not just one victim is comfortable but a whole family trusts the environment they are in.
"We want to make sure we are prioritizing safety and security and that's apparent, visible and palpable for the people that come here," Brechon said.
Those that work with Brechon praise her ability to identify and empathize with not just her clients, but her coworkers.
That's why Deb Nau, the director of development at Children's Safe Harbor nominated Brechon.
"She connects with people on every level.Anybody that needs to work with her is very fortunate to have her on their side," Nau said.
"I'm honored to work with someone who is so knowledgeable and caring."
While appreciative of the recognition, Brechon doesn't give herself much of the credit.
She attributes her success to many women role models that helped her growing up in Rockford and even as an adult working in domestic violence prevention.
From Remedies and Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling to RAASE and the City of Rockford's office on domestic violence and human trafficking prevention, Brechon is inspired by the work around her to push her to continue her mission.
To stop anyone from falling victim to sexual assault and domestic violence.
"There's nothing stopping any one person from being a victim. It could be me, it could be someone I love and care for and what would I want for them. That's what drives my work," Brechon said.
Children's Safe Harbor is located at 1416 20th St in Rockford.
Click here to learn more about the services they provide and how you can find the help you need.
As always, we need your help to find people in our area making a positive impact.
If you or someone you know is doing something to make the community a better place, you can fill out a nomination form or you can reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.