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RCC prepared Chris Mallette for her vocation

Chris MalletteAttending Rogue Community College gave Chris Mallette the personal confidence and analytical skills she’s put to use throughout her social service career.

“When I came to Rogue, I connected with a group of women who believed in my ability to succeed,” said Mallette, executive director of the Illinois Valley Safe House Alliance. “They always conveyed to me that I had value.”

A survivor of domestic violence, she helped establish the Alliance, which serves 500-600 people a year. She also chairs the Region 5 Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Mallette recalls her own abusive childhood, dropping out of school after eighth grade, marrying young into an abusive relationship, and becoming a mother by 18.

“So my view of the world was very small,” she explained. “RCC gave me a bigger point of view, a feeling of caring about the world and that you could make a difference. It wasn’t handholding but people paying attention and being supportive.”

Mallette, who received RCC Foundation scholarships while a student, now serves on the foundation’s scholarship committee.

“Receiving RCC Foundation scholarships meant financial aid but also helped me stand tall,” Mallette said. “Now I get to hand out scholarships, and I love traveling that full circle.”

After graduating from Rogue with an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree, Mallette earned a bachelor’s in social science at Southern Oregon University and went on to become the first domestic violence assistant in the Josephine County District Attorney’s office.

Recently honored as the RCC Foundation’s 2012 Alumni of the Year Award for her service to the community, Mallette continues to take classes at Rogue for personal enrichment and job training.

“Christine’s greatest gift to our community is her tenacity in her efforts to create a safe place for survivors: women, children and men,” said Midge Renton, president of the RCC Foundation. “She is a true visionary, carries herself with honor and integrity, and encourages all those around her to become involved in the movement to end violence and bring a better life to families in our region.”

Mallette moved to southern Oregon in 1974 figuring it was a good place to raise kids. (Her son Jesse, 36, is an energy consultant for a Scottish corporation.) Learning critical and analytical thinking skills at RCC, along with communication and grant writing, helped prepare Mallette for her vocation.

“I learned how to see a vision and think it through, solve the problems, and figure out how to make it happen,” she said.

Have a story idea for the website? Please E-mail Rand Hill

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