If you’ve ever worked in customer service then you no doubt know that it can be quite stressful at times, especially when you have 65 emails flooding your inbox mentioning the same issue over and over again. It takes someone with a kind heart and gracious attitude to be able to sort out the problems, respond to the requests, and to leave people feeling heard and understood. If you’ve ever contacted Dressember about a question or concern, chances are you've been in contact with April Schiller.
After focusing her work and education on anti-trafficking for the past 9 years, coupled with a desire to work with non-profits to help them become more effective in addressing the issue of human trafficking, April found her home at Dressember. She started her time with Dressember as an advocate in 2015 after hearing about it from many women at her school and church, and in the fall of 2017, April joined the team as an administrative intern. Recently she has stepped up to help lead the upcoming event team for our 5k (shameless plug).
Starting out as an administrative intern gave April the perfect outlet to put her well-grounded personality and problem-solving skills to good use. From answering emails about fundraising questions to graciously communicating with those who had grievances, April handled it all. However, she says that the best part of the internship was getting to be the liaison for the fundraising platform, advocates, and the leadership team. This provided her with a big picture perspective, which allowed her to play a key role in fixing any problems that arose.
While it wasn’t always smooth sailing, April shared that when it came to the more difficult scenarios she quickly learned that you can’t always give everyone what they want, but you can always approach them with respect and understanding. Most importantly though, she says that she learned not to take things personally. "There is so much emotion in some of the emails, and you have to learn to address the content without becoming caught up in the things you have no control over," said April. Throughout her time as an intern, April showed every person she came in contact with kindness, respect, and dignity.
"There is so much emotion in some of the emails, and you have to learn to address the content without becoming caught up in the things you have no control over,"
Her desire to gain experience specifically in areas that would allow for her to lead with purpose and bolster her skills within the non-profit field led her to step into the position of event coordinator. Moving into this position has allowed April to step into some bigger shoes so to speak, and taking on a more challenging role has only served to fuel her passion for anti-trafficking work. As with any new position there is a learning curve that comes with the territory, but through the support and encouragement of the other women on the leadership team, April has begun to stretch herself and use her past experiences in her current work. Most importantly she has also learned that mistakes are all a part of the process.
The event that is currently occupying the majority of April’s time is the upcoming 5K run. This is her first big event in her new position, but she says that not only is she super excited to help plan it, she’s equally as enthusiastic to be there on the big day. At the moment she is focusing on connecting with different community voices to get the word out about the run, and on the race day, she will be helping to manage everyone who comes out to volunteer. As with everything that she does, April’s actions are motivated by her deep-seated desire to see human trafficking come to an end and to raise awareness about the injustice. She hopes that the 5K proves to be another event that expands the awareness of trafficking while reaching a new demographic and empowering people to feel like they can participate in fighting against something that otherwise would feel so heavy and untouchable.
She hopes that the 5K proves to be another event that expands the awareness of trafficking while reaching a new demographic and empowering people to feel like they can participate in fighting against something that otherwise would feel so heavy and untouchable.
From start to finish, this well-grounded woman is using her skills and knowledge to get the word out about human trafficking, and she isn’t just stopping there. Using her new position at Dressember, she is joining arms with many other strong women to create opportunities to bring people together in the fight for freedom and dignity for all.
About the Author
Katherina Toews sees the world mostly from between the ears of a horse, and wouldn’t want it any other way. She believes that there is nothing that can’t be fixed by sharing tea, chocolate chip cookies, and a good black and white movie with friends. Katherina is currently working outdoors helping people realize their full potential with the assistance of horses.