The Rape Recovery Center (RRC) could not do the work we do without our incredible volunteers. In 2017 the 117 individuals on our volunteer force provided 11,938 hours of service, a value of $143,246! One of the fabulous individuals on our volunteer team is Troy Koltermann, who is a volunteer on our Outreach & Access Team. Troy can be found representing the Rape Recovery Center at events across Salt Lake County, spreading the word about the work we do. Troy is also a professional photographer, and has donated his services to the RRC for special events. Read more about Troy and his experience at the center below!
What motivated you to become a volunteer at the Rape Recovery Center? When I first started volunteering at the Rape Recovery Center it was about 6 months after I had finished training with the Department of Defense and became a certified Sexual Assault Advocate. It was my first real experience outside of the bubble I was living in at the time and was able to see really how much work needed to be done. I felt like all the the training that I went trough would be for nothing if I couldn't do more to help make a difference. I researched places that I could volunteer my time with an organization that I felt was making a difference and that lead me to the Rape Recovery Center.
What have you enjoyed most about your time as a RRC volunteer? I love it when I am able to provide someone with information or resources that they need and hand no idea about. One of the most memorable moments I have had as a volunteer was talking with a group of kids at the end of the conversation we went around the room and asked people what they learned. One of the girls said that they didn't know that their were people that cared. Being able to give that one person hope in their recovery just because we cared is what makes all the work we do worth it.
Tell us a little more about how you spend your time outside of volunteering for the RRC: I got out of the Army in April of 2017 the initial transition was a little difficult for me but I was able to settle in doing things that I love. I have focused full-time on my photography. I have some very lofty goals and like to use my talents to make a difference. One of the key moments in my photography education was hearing a quote that said "take photographs of things that need to change or things that need to be celebrated". I currently am a full-time student at SLCC and work as a photographer as well. I spend more time working on personal projects then I do taking on paying clients.
You have immersed yourself in the very difficult work of addressing sexual violence. What gives you hope as you approach this work? The biggest thing that gives me hope is knowing that I can make a difference is someones life. I think as a society we have come a long way in the last 5 years but we still have a long way to go. I know I can't change everyone at once but I can make a difference one person at a time.
What is your message to others looking to get involved in this work, or considering volunteer work at the RRC? Just do it. It is extremely rewarding. There is something about being a volunteer that allows you to notice things that you didn't notice before. I find myself talking to people almost every day that can benefit from what we do. A few years ago I either would not have noticed or would not have known how to respond to them. By volunteering you can give people hope, that is one of the first steps to helping them heal.
On behalf of all of us at the Rape Recovery Center we thank Troy for dedicating his time and talents to the center, and for his commitment to survivors!
If you are interested in joining the Rape Recovery Center's volunteer team, visit our volunteer page here to learn more.