Story of a life reclaimed comes to campus April 28

April 20, 2009

Jennifer Storm almost lost her life to alcohol and drugs as a young teen. She picked up the pieces and escaped the grip of addiction before she was 20.

She spent her teen years using her addictions to escape the realities of her young life and her misunderstandings about her sexual orientation which made her even more vulnerable to victimization. She is now the real-life voice of millions of girls and young women growing up in a vortex of addiction, abuse, despair and self-destruction.

Currently the Executive Director of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program in Harrisburg, Storm brings her personal story to Penn State Harrisburg’s Gallery Lounge at 7 p.m. April 28. The presentation is free and open to the public. For information, phone (717) 948-6701.

The author of the personal memoir Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America, Storm regained her life and went on to graduate from Penn State with a B.S. in Rehabilitation Services. In addition to her responsibilities with the assistance program, she shares the story of how she came through her own darkness to create a life of accomplishment and joy.

In August 2002, Storm joined the Victim-Witness Assistance Program as the organization’s second executive director. Prior to that, she was the first full-time director of the Pennsylvania Rights Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to securing and defending fully inclusive civil rights for LGBT people in the Commonwealth. During her tenure at the Rights Coalition, Storm worked diligently on obtaining inclusive hate crime legislation.

In 2002, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed one of the most inclusive hate crime statues in the country and Governor Edward G. Rendell appointed Storm a commissioner to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Her media appearances are vast, including frequent appearances on all major networks including, ABC, FOX, NBC, NPR, CBS and PBS as the county spokesperson for victims rights.

She has done over 100 media and radio interviews in the past five years and has appeared on local talk shows including The Harrisburg View and WITF’s prime time public affairs show SmartTalk.

In 2002, Storm also publicly debated Oliver North live on his syndicated talk show “Common Sense” regarding gays in the Boy Scouts. She has been profiled and/or appeared in We Magazine, Women Magazine, Central Penn Business Journal, Rolling Stone, Time, and many local and statewide newspapers.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010