My name is Shantel Standefer and I am a knowledge geek. I love to learn and I love to share what I learn with others, whether they like it or not. I learned about the issue of human trafficking through this thirst for knowledge when I attended a training several years ago, facilitated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. I remember feeling suddenly awakened to this issue, and as I began to share this knowledge with others, I realized I was not the only one who had been in the dark, and I was not the only one who felt the need to advocate for change.
A social worker by design, I have a natural tendency to gravitate toward vulnerable and exploited populations. The more vulnerable the circumstances, the more passionate I become about making things change! I enjoy working alongside others to enhance resilience and strength. A peer once told me, “It’s not that you think outside the box…it’s like the box just doesn’t exist to you.”
I grew up outside of Seattle, Washington and I continue to go back at least once a year to visit friends and family. In the meantime, I love nothing more than spending time with my husband and two children, ages 8 and 10; although “spending time” together is an arbitrary reference, as our time together is often spent shuttling kids back and forth to competitive sports events!
I love running when my joints and muscles decide to let me participate. My body and I often argue about whether or not we are going to be able to log some miles. Battles are won and lost, but the war always ensues. I am looking forward to participating in my first Spartan Super race later this year.
I am incredibly excited about my new role as Director of Survivor Services with the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and I am eager to see and be a part of the development of Grow Free TN!