Advocate Spotlight: Karen Holcomb

Karen Holcomb

Karen Holcomb

"Be mindful of the current moment, we cannot change our past and we cannot help others if we are not healthy ourselves": powerful words spoken by Advocate Karen Holcomb. Karen is part of the 2015 Advocate class sworn-in by Judge Rogers. She is a graduate of Bloomfield College where she received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and continued her education, receiving her Masters in Social Work from Temple University. Karen is a therapist at Forensic Counseling Services where nearly 60% of her clients are violent sex offenders. Many of her clients suffer from depressions and anxiety. Given her career, it is no surprise that Karen was inspired to help children affected by abuse and neglect. Karen emphasized that helping others is so important and many illnesses are related to not getting help; prevention of further issues is key.

Karen moved to Kingston about 15 years ago. She is a native of New Jersey and has two children: a son, 16, and a daughter, 26. Shortly after relocating, her two brothers and her mother also came to reside in the Kingston area. Family has always been very important to Karen and during a crossroad early in her life, her mother reminded her of how strong and passionate she is and that if she set her mind to a goal, she would achieve it. That was a pivotal moment and is what gave her the motivation to complete her schooling in Psychology and Social Work and embark on the nurturing and supportive career that comes so naturally to her.

Becoming an Advocate has reinforced Karen's beliefs that cultural humility and acceptance are key components in life. It is important not to be judgmental because everyone is unique. People are always more than who they seem; they are a family member, a sister, a son, a parent. We all have our obstacles and deficiencies but healthy change is possible. Karen wakes up every morning and brings to mind one thing that she is thankful for. She recommends using self-care and mindfulness as tools for success. Her outlook on life and care for others is truly inspiring.  At the close of our interview, Karen shared one of her favorite Ghandi quotes, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

We are happy to announce that Karen is presenting a free Mindfulness seminar for the entire family April 18th at 6:30 at the Osterhout Free Library.