By Mike Wade  |  NRVCS

Community members attending this Saturday’s candlelight vigil for International Overdose Awareness Day will see some familiar faces behind the microphone during the event’s brief program.

Featured speakers for the event will include a human services professional involved with treatment for persons battling addiction, as well as an individual who is in long-term recovery. A local pastor and community advocate will conclude the program with a brief prayer.

This marks the third year for the event, which is coordinated locally by NRVCS (New River Valley Community Services) and “The Face of Addiction is Mine” campaign. The brief program begins at 7:00 p.m., with lighting of the candles to begin at dusk. The vigil will once again be held at the Bisset Park gazebo in Radford.

A native of Giles County, Cora Taylor currently serves as Clinical Program Supervisor of the Special Deliveries program at NRVCS, a position she has held since 2016.

Taylor holds a degree in Criminal Justice from Radford University, but has spent the majority of her professional career working in human services. She is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and Qualified Mental Health Provider. Among her various certifications, Taylor also specializes in training providers on how to incorporate trauma informed care into their treatment.

A wife and mother herself, Taylor is deeply passionate about serving the needs of women who are struggling with the disease of addiction.

Rachel Jarvis is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, currently employed through NRVCS working at the 401 Peer Center in Radford.

Jarvis was born and raised in Pilot, Virginia and has lived in the New River Valley her entire life. She spent 15 years in active addiction, and at the age of 29 sought treatment for her substance use disorder through NRVCS. She has now been in recovery since October 31, 2015.

Jarvis uses her lived experience with substance use disorder and continued recovery to share hope, while walking alongside her peers in their path to recovery.

Terrie Sternberg is currently serving as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pulaski. She came to Pulaski County in 1995 after graduating from seminary in Columbia, South Carolina.

Sternberg had previously been an employee of Union Carbide Corp. from 1974 to 1991, working in the field of marketing communications. She received her B.B.A. degree from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut.

An active member of the Pulaski Community Partners Coalition, Sternberg is involved with a number of community initiatives. She points out that she loves living in Pulaski, exploring the beauty of the area, and getting to know the people of her community.

Saturday’s event is free and open to the public. Officials with NRVCS will be handing out 200 #EndOverdose t-shirts and wristbands to those attending. The event will also be broadcast live via the NRVCS Facebook page.