Miriam Mohamed Executive Director

Before joining ONCAC, Miriam Mohamed served as Coordinator of Kids’ Place, Licking County’s accredited child advocacy center, and Kids’ Team, a multidisciplinary team that responds to child abuse, from November 2012 until December 2016. As a member of Kids’ Team, she provided case coordination and victim advocacy services to all child victims and their families. Miriam previously served as the Program Director of Girls Inc. of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area before moving overseas to volunteer with the Education Development Center on a United States Agency for International Development-funded youth development program. Miriam received a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana.

Vanessa Stergios Director of Statewide Programming

Vanessa Stergios is the Director of Statewide Programming for the Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. (ONCAC) Previously, Vanessa served as the Consultant for ONCAC on the Linking Systems of Care for Ohio’s Youth project and continues to facilitate the Supportive Services Work Group. In addition, Vanessa has been the Director of the Tuscarawas County Child Advocacy Center since 2012, assisting the organization to achieve National Children’s Alliance Accreditation in January of 2016. As an active member of ONCAC, Vanessa has served as the Chair of the Membership Education Committee, a Board Member, a member of the Legislative Committee and spearheaded a project which has led to the creation of a Health Care Cooperative through ONCAC to provide medical insurance options for our membership. Vanessa has spent most of her career specializing in Child Abuse, Trauma and community collaboration. Prior to coming to Tuscarawas County, Vanessa was the Director of the Traumatized Children’s Task Force and the Director of the Children’s Network, both in Stark County and has worked in a number of child serving systems including Children’s Services , with local school districts, Juvenile Court and the medical facilities of Akron Children’s Hospital and Aultman Hospital. Vanessa holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling from Walsh University and is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Licensed Social Worker, and a Certified Adoption Assessor through the State of Ohio; she is also trained as a Forensic Interviewer and Victim Advocate. Vanessa has launched several ground-breaking programs including: ONCAC Health Care Collaborative, the first- of- it’s- kind in Ohio, Tele-medicine program with Akron Children’s Hospital and Tuscarawas County for Victims of Child Abuse; the Latino Youth Advocate program with Latino Cultural Connections; Family and Children’s First Collaborative for Victim Advocacy and Service Coordination, and co-lead the development of Tusc Against Trafficking Coalition. Vanessa has presented at Local, State and National levels on the Tele-Health Medical Program and on the topic of Children who have been traumatized.

Courtney Turner Statewide MDT Coordinator

Courtney served as the Coordinator and Victim Advocate of Kids’ Place, Licking County’s child advocacy center in 2012. As the coordinator and victim advocate, Courtney provided victim services to all children and families as well as coordinated the multi-disciplinary team. In October 2012, Courtney accepted a position with Licking County Children Services as an intake investigator. Courtney continued to serve on the Kids’ Team Advisory Council and co-chaired this council in addition to serving as a Forensic Interviewer and social worker for child victims through 2019. In the absence of a coordinator in 2018, Courtney was able to guide her multi-disciplinary team through reaccreditation and coordinate the team while serving in her position as an intake social worker. During her work with Licking County Children Services, Courtney presented to mandated reports, first responders and other professionals about reporting and recognizing child abuse and neglect. Courtney received her BA in criminology from the Ohio State University in 2008 and her AAS in Forensic Science in 2006.
Courtney is passionate about bringing awareness about recognizing child abuse and neglect as well as providing information about the process and benefit of having an abused child seen at a child advocacy center.

Marya L. Simmons Statewide Program Coordinator

Marya L. Simmons is the Statewide Program Coordinator with the Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Ms. Simmons is a national presenter, has two degrees in criminal justice, is certified as a chemical dependency counseling assistant, and a member of Tiffin University’s Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Previously, Ms. Simmons was the Victim-Witness Unit Supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, where she supported victims and witnesses throughout the judicial system process. Prior to joining the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, she was a Justice System Advocate at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, where she supported survivors of sexual assault inside and outside of the criminal justice system. She has advocated for women who have been diagnosed with drug and alcohol dependency and mental health illnesses, and she is adept to working with diverse populations while addressing the many needs of survivors beyond just their cases.

Marya Simmons actively supported victims associated with Cuyahoga County’s CODIS Task Force (Untested Rape Kit Initiative) since 2013, is a Registered Advocate with Senior Standing with the State of Ohio, and is on the Executive Committee for the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team. Ms. Simmons has also received the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office’s 2016 award for Distinguished Contributions to Victim Advocacy.