“Remember, you can make a difference.” – John Walsh, television personality, criminal investigator, human and victim rights advocate, creator of America’s Most Wanted, founder of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, and originator of numerous pieces of legislation surrounding child protection and missing children.
What is an Advocate?
An advocate is someone who stands up for a person, group, or cause. They may make phones calls or write letters on someone’s behalf, speak in front of a court or agency, or lobby or campaign for an individual or a group. Anyone can be an advocate. From attorneys or social workers to a nonprofit group or a concerned citizen, advocates can be anyone who is committed to championing a cause. No matter the capacity in which an advocate works, however, he or she must have some key characteristics to be effective.
Being passionate about a cause can be an advocate’s most useful trait. Energy and enthusiasm will come through when an advocate is making their case. Also, that passion will help them overcome any obstacles that they may encounter. Decision-makers and organizational leaders recognize passion in advocates and often listen closely when an argument is presented forcefully with compassion and care.