An advisory from Leslie Mitchel Bond, Director of Bullying Prevention
Yik Yak and Cyber Bullying
CHICAGO, IL, March 7, 2014 – The National Office wants to make sure we all are aware of a new App designed for college students that has made its way on the cell phones of high school students across the country.
Yik Yak, an app similar in design to Snap Chat with words streaming in a Twitter like feed that disappear, allows other users in a given location (e.g., school) to view all comments. To register, users are asked to confirm that they are 17, but many click “agree” who are younger and with no profile or password, the communication is completely anonymous.
To date, reports of threats and slander in high schools from Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have caused principals to block the app from wireless networks or ban children from using cellular devices in school.
With over 185,000 current users, this app raises new concerns about Cyber Bullying. As an organization, Prevent Child Abuse America seeks to promote positive digital citizenship and encourages the network to alert their local affiliates and social media channels to the dangers of this app as well as ways to educate parents and teens about appropriate relationship skills both in person and on-line.
We have an opportunity to make this a teachable moment for parents and educators about how behaviors and choices impact others, particularly in the digital world.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Leslie Mitchel Bond, Director, Bullying Prevention Services at
A message from Robert Allen, Senior Director of Administration
Announcing Carla Snodgrass as HFA Operations Director
CHICAGO, IL, March 6, 2014 – Prevent Child Abuse America is pleased to announce that Carla Snodgrass will be joining the Healthy Families America team as the Operations Director.
Many of you will be sure to recognize Carla as she has served as the Executive Director for Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee since 2002, prior to becoming the Executive Director, Carla was their Director of Programs from 2000 to 2002. She has also worked as the Director of Human Services in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as a Child Protective Services Specialist at the Tennessee Department of Human Services, as well as a caseworker and a consultant.
Carla is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a BSW in Social Work with a dual major in Social Work and Criminal Justice. She has also earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Tennessee State University.
Having worked as an advocate for children for 37 years, Carla will bring a wealth of experience and intelligence with her as she joins the HFA team. I am so pleased that we are able to keep Carla within the Prevent Child Abuse family, and am excited to see her excel in this new role!
As Operations Director, Carla will report directly to Cyd Wessel and will work to ensure that there are adequate fiscal and financial procedures in place, find innovative ways to make support services and delivery more efficient and effective, and will serve as the overall manager for initiatives that contribute to the current and long-term excellence of HFA.
Carla can be reached at
, and will be assuming her new position effective April 1, 2014.
A message from Jim Hmurovich, President and CEO
Announcing Marissa Morabito as Senior Director of Public Policy
CHICAGO, IL, February 12, 2014 – Prevent Child Abuse America is pleased to announce the appointment of Marissa Morabito to fill the role of Senior Director of Public Policy in the national office. Marissa will be based out of Washington D.C. and will lead the efforts to promote the public policy agenda of our organization.
She is a graduate of Arizona State University with a BA in political science having interned within the Arizona House of Representatives and having worked as a coordinator on Arizona’s minimum wage initiative before moving on to become a Senior Associate at The Media Guys, Inc., a strategic communications firm.
In 2007 Marissa returned to the Arizona House of Representatives as a Policy Advisor and Research Analyst where she helped determine the impacts of proposed laws and helped formulate policy by researching, analyzing, and drafting legislation, and also helped draft two laws for the Department of Defense. Following a move to Washington, D.C., Marissa has worked as a Research Director within the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee where she has monitored legislation within a 13 state territory and worked closely with legislators and stakeholders.
Marissa is an excellent addition to our staff and will be a tremendous asset in helping to develop a national strategy for children while ensuring that funding for proven and effective programs like home visiting will continue. Her presence in Washington D.C. will be especially useful in allowing our organization to respond quickly to developing issues and allow us greater access to key government officials.
Marissa can be reached at
and will be officially joining our staff on February 27.