Maria Pavón of Siler City, who received the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award for Personal Service, is a survivor of domestic violence who turned that abuse, according to a friend, into “a miraculous story of hope.” She came to the U.S. from Mexico with an abusive husband and, in part because she was an illegal resident, was afraid to go to authorities about the violence. It was only after her young daughter insisted that she report the abuse that she had the courage to do so.
That step began a healing process that led her to an organization in Siler City called the Coalition for Family Peace. Pavón’s inner strength and compassion impressed the staff at the coalition that they offered her a position counseling other Latino women. Pavón has become an inspiring leader of the Latino community, and because of her success in helping survivors of domestic violence locally, she has been sought after as a speaker and facilitator in other parts of North Carolina and beyond.