“What Do You Do?” Week: Erica, Trial Coordinator, Families Of Murder Victims

This week, we’re spending a little time learning all about you and the awesome and unexpectedly cool jobs you do. Each one of these profiles was culled from you, dear Frisky Readers, and we’re amazed by the incredible jobs you have. This is our attempt to learn more about what you do for a living.

After the jump, read all about reader Erica’s job working with families of murder victims. Erica, 22, Trial Coordinator, Families of Murder Victims

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Your Average Day: Everyday I go from our office, which is located in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, to the Criminal Justice Center and attend homicide trials or sentencings. I meet the family and friends of the deceased and help them navigate the criminal justice system and provide emotional support.

The Best Part Of Your Job: It is so enriching to meet members of my community and help them when they are in a time of need. There is nothing as rewarding as being with a family from the beginning of a trial through the end and getting to know them intimately. If we get a guilty verdict and the defendant needs to be sentenced, the family members are allowed to read a Victim Impact Statement, which allows them to tell the judge how the loss of their loved one has affected their life. It is a beautiful moment because it is when they try to put into words what love is.

The Worst Part Of Your Job: When I am with family members who I have come to know really well and a not guilty verdict is received. My heart breaks for them because they feel like they have been let down by the justice system. They then have to deal with the emotions of that loss, on top of the loss of the loved one.

The Most Surprising Thing About Your Job: The most surprising aspect of my job is how easy it is to connect with members of the community. Everyday I interact with people of different ages, race, and socio-economic backgrounds. Those could be possible social barriers but they seem to fall to the wayside when family members are seeking help or support and I am in a position to provide it.

Well, This Is Interesting: The founder of this non-profit is Deborah Spungen, the mother of Nancy Spungen. Nancy was the girlfriend of the punk rocker Sid Vicious. After the brutal murder of Nancy, Deborah started FMV in order to cope with the tragedy.

If You Weren’t Doing This Job, What Other Career Might You Pursue? I would be interested in clinical psychology or community counseling.

Does What You Went To School For Have Any Relationship To What You Now Do? Yes, I majored in Criminal Justice and minored in Psychology at Temple University, so I think my job is the perfect match for this!

What Advice Would You Give To Someone Interested In Getting Into Your Field? If you are interested in getting started with a non-profit, volunteering is the way to go. Often non-profits rely heavily on volunteers and interns in order to function because their budgets don’t allow for a large number of staff. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door so that when a position does open up, they will often consider you for the position first!