2020 "Be a Hero" Poster Contest 

December 2, 2020


Hope Haven Children's Advocacy Center has named the winners of its 2020 "Be a

Hero"; poster contest hosted for North Bay Elementary School students.


The winners are fifth graders Deja Burge, Emma Snowden and Isaiah Hoyer

and fourth grader Brandyn Williams.


Hope Haven Children's Advocacy Center provides essential services for

children who have been abused and neglected in Hancock and Pearl River



"This contest was not only a chance for a fun activity, but also a door for

important conversations with the students about safety, courage, bullying,

kindness and helping others,” said, Isabelle Hall, Hope Haven outreach 

 specialist. Hope Haven asked the students to create a poster showing what

it means to be a hero. The winners chosen displayed not only traditional

"hero" characteristics such as bravery, but also kindness, empathy, and

selflessness, Hall said.


"Not all heroes wear capes,” said student Emma Snowden. “Some of

my biggest heroes are doctors and veterans because they save and

help the rest of us" 


Brandyn Williams said, “If I'm in danger, I need someone to help. If other people

need help, I can be the hero. It's my responsibility to be a hero. I might be the only

one that people are counting on.” 


The students’ winning artwork will be displayed on the Hope Haven 2020 Holiday

Card, showing the bravery and resilience of children. 


Hope Haven thanks Dolce Bakeshop, Sonic, Pop Brothers, Papa Johns,

McDonalds, Dominos, and Rollie Pollie for their prize pack sponsorship.

Help support the brave children served at Hope Haven. Click the "donate" tab above to be a hero too! 



November 16. 2020


The Board of Directors of Hope Haven Children’s Advocacy Center is please to announce their selection

of John James as its Executive Director effective Monday, November 16, 2020.


“Hope Haven has a wonderful opportunity for growth at this juncture, and a leader is

needed who understands who we are now, someone who understands who we are now,

someone who understands the Children’s Advocacy Center model and someone who

is very knowledgeable in all aspects of child welfare. John James is that person,”

stated Kathleen Stieffel, Board President. “Mr. James comes highly recommended from

the state level and is the right person to guide this organization and nurture the

important relationships needed to promote the growth of our programs and our future.

We have renewed hope and look forward to great things under his leadership.”


Family focused with deep leadership capabilities, James, husband to Christina and

father of three is already a well-known and highly respected member of the

non-profit community. With almost thirty years’ experience in child protection in

Alabama and Mississippi, he brings a solid foundation to continue the growth and

outreach of Hope Haven Children’s Advocacy Center.


County Court Judge Trent Favre says of James, “I was so excited to hear the news! I think

John will be a great addition to Hope Haven given his extensive background in child

welfare, and I am looking forward to working with him. In my previous experience with him,

he has demonstrated that he is a very capable and knowledgeable leader.

He is an effective communicator and problem solver. I promise to work

closely with him to ensure his success but more importantly, the success of Hope Haven.”


James began his career in Mobile, Alabama in 1993 and worked in several different

capacities in Alabama over the next twenty-five years. He spent his last three years in charge of Alabama’s nationally

recognized foster care and CPS systems. He retired from the state of Alabama and was hired by the state

of Mississippi to serve as the Field Operations Director for the eleven coastal counties. During his tenure, Mississippi implemented many reforms and has received national recognition for the reduction

of over 1,200 children in foster care in his regions alone along with a record number of adoptions. Mr.

James has extensive experience working with Child Advocacy Centers throughout Alabama and

Mississippi as well as the National CAC in Huntsville, Alabama.


James stated, “I am honored that the Hope Haven Board of Directors selected me for this position, and I

look forward to serving the children and families of Hancock and Pearl River Counties. I look forward to

working in the community to strengthen our work and to find potential new avenues for expansion. It’s

a very exciting time for me, and I cannot thank them enough.”


Lorraine Werner, Administrative Assistant and Family Advocate for Hope Haven for over fourteen years

has very capably served as Interim Director since July of this year. “We are fortunate to have someone

of Mr. James’ caliber and experience step up to lead Hope Haven,” says Werner, “We are at a critical

moment, and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our programs and continue to



Hope Haven Children’s Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for victims

of childhood trauma and abuse. Its mission is to be a haven of recovery and a path to justice for children

and their families. As the only Children’s Advocacy Center serving Hancock and Pearl River counties,

Hope Haven provides immediate intervention services to children and families affected by traumatic

events, specializing in providing forensic interviews, family advocacy, child sexual abuse prevention as

well as direct assistance to families in need.


Hope Haven also leads a multi-disciplinary task force (MDT) comprised of District Attorney, Joel Smith,

Assistant DA, Chris Daniel, Cynthia Chauvin of CASA, members of law enforcement, Child Protective

Services (CPS), Youth Court and medical professionals who collectively promote a strong collaborative

effort seeking justice for victims of abuse and their families.


Hope Haven has positioned themselves as a community leader advocating for abused and neglected

children in South Mississippi and are proud members of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi, the

National Children’s Alliance and the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Hope Haven Children's Advocacy Center logo
Hope Haven
706 US Hwy 90
Waveland, MS 39576
Tel: 228.466.6395
Hope Haven is a proud member of 
Hope Haven Children's Advocacy Center

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