Renee DeVesty, Founder and Executive Producer
Renee DeVesty is a 2013 “MAKER: Women Who Make America” PBS Award Recipient and a Registered Speaker’s Bureau Member with the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) in Washington, DC. She has been published and interviewed on local and national media outlets and lectures and presents nationally on college campuses and events and fundraisers for Vera House. Renee has more than 25 years experience in the management, promotion and execution of corporate and non-profit events and fundraisers and considers “The Clean Slate Diaries” to be her most important work to date. She is a compassionate, empowering Advocate and Activist for women’s issues.
Maren Guse, Executive Director of Digital Media
Maren Guse is a photographer and digital content creator based in Syracuse. She graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in Photojournalism and is currently a master’s candidate at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Maren creates, edits and produces the moving and inspirational Survivor Videos for The Clean Slate Diaries.
Blythe Allison Bennett, an original voice of the Clean Slate Diaries, works with the School Media Program and Summer Institute at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. She has been 30 years silent, two years surviving, and three years thriving with a lot of hard work, love, and support from her partner, family, friends, and therapist in the past five years. In 2008, she confronted the first person who sexually abused her, a teacher, and with that confrontation, she started to emerge from the darkness and took back some of her soul. After 30 years of silence, she gave him back his shame and guilt that was always his to carry, never hers.
Helena Lamb, a survivor and original voice of the Clean Slate Diaries video, began working at Vera House Inc. as a sexual assault volunteer in 2001 and was hired in 2006 as a Victim Outreach Advocate to work directly with people affected by domestic & sexual violence, advocating for systems-level change. In 2008, Helena began working as a facilitator in the Vera House Alternatives Program, which is an education-based program for male batterers. She facilitates several groups for the Syracuse Behavioral Health Center, is a committee member of the Crime Victims Rights Week Coalition and is currently receiving her Bachelors Degree at Syracuse University in Social Work.
Mary T. Sorrendino
Mary T. Sorrendino is a survivor of Sexual & Psychological Abuse. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. Her specialty is working with individuals who struggle with mental health and dependency issues. She also has a passion for those who have PTSD and those brought up in abusive homes – including those sexually abused. In 2011, Mary published her memoir, Misery To Ministry, her personal journey from a life of abuse and self-loathing to a victorious life in Jesus Christ. Appointments can be made with Mary by calling (315) 436-6877.
Dan Leonard was abused by a football coach as a child. He is now an Advocate and an Activist for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Dan “killed the secret, before the secret killed him” in 1995, after holding it in for 25 years. He is a local businessman, and also board member of the Onondaga Community Sexual Trauma Task Force.
Sarah Stanton is a Psychology student at Syracuse University with a vested personal interest in helping others. She is not only a survivor of childhood sexual abuse but of subsequent abusive relationships and a date rape. Despite using the term survivor, she recognizes the need to move beyond surviving and truly awaken to the concept of overcoming and expanding ones own horizons through post traumatic growth. In addition to her role as a student, Sarah is a member of the Syracuse Trauma Task Force, currently works at Vera House co-facilitating Domestic Violence Education groups for perpetrators of DV as well as taking crisis calls and helping victims. She also facilitates a Trauma Resiliency group at the Women’s Information Center.
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