Springfield, MO

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2016 Most Influential Women Honoree: Jamie Raab

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Some people are happy because of the work they chose. Jamie Raab is happy because of the work that chose her.

“I realize how I have fallen into the perfect career for me,” says Raab, director of community based services for the Greene County Juvenile Office. “I have been given the opportunity to develop, grow and transform programs and services for youth involved in our office. I have consistently leaned into opportunities that went beyond my title.”

Through this involvement, Raab learned leadership comes as a character trait, not by title. Her role did not start as supervisory but as a young woman who had determination to see change and an unlimited vision.

Raab started with Greene County in 2010, moving in 2011 to the position of probation and field services officer, where she stepped in to address the loss of funding for juvenile drug court. The result was Responding Appropriately to Drug and Alcohol Referrals – RADAR. It focuses on community engagement, guest speakers and collaboration with treatment providers.

“I stepped up and created a team with purpose – our purpose being to recognize the needs of youth affected by substance abuse and to find a way to directly support the services they needed,” Raab says. “Through my leadership of the RADAR team and its development, RADAR was given an award by the Missouri Association of Counties in 2013.”

In 2014, she moved into the role of juvenile probation office and gender responsive programming and services coordinator. Raab also pursued her passion for working with at-risk girls when she assumed the role of coordinator for Girls Empowering Minds and Spirits – GEMS. She led juvenile staff and community partners to reinvigorate a program that needed vision and direction.

“I was able to gather a phenomenal group of women to form our GEMS team. These women have no written obligation and frequently worked outside of their regular job duties, staying late and working on weekends to ensure continued development and success of GEMS,” she says.

In 2015, Raab was recognized as a USA Unites Award winner for her work with the group. Sponsored by USA Networks and its distributors, USA Unites is given to just 10 people across the United States each year.

“Winning the USA Unites Award for my team and our work with GEMS has been the highlight of my career,” Raab says. “To be able to be part of something that is making such a difference in our small community and for it to be recognized at a national level is phenomenal. No words could express the pride and excitement I felt for our GEMS team and this community to come together to create such a great opportunity for these young girls.”

Last year, Raab moved into her current position where she supervises all community-based programs. She is on the advisory councils for Missouri Mentoring Partnership and I Pour Life, and she is a chairperson for the Greene County Task Force on Gangs and Youth Violence.


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