FOF Episode 32
Before embarking on her professional path, Ms. Gallardo pursued an education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, completing coursework in vocal performance in 2000. Subsequently, she continued her studies at Central Connecticut State University, enrolling in courses on communication, media studies, criminology, and public relations. In addition to these accomplishments, Ms. Gallardo has been certified as a domestic violence counselor by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV).In light of her exceptional undertakings, Ms. Gallardo has accrued several accolades throughout her impressive career. In 2015, she was presented with the Live Your Dream Award from the Farmington Valley, Connecticut, chapter of the SIA. Notably, she was honored with the First 100 Men and Women Award from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence that same year, the first year women were able to be inducted. Moreover, Ms. Gallardo accepted the Women of Inspiration Award from the CT Sun of the WNBA in 2015. In 2018 She received the 40 Under Forty award from the Hartford Business Journal and in 2019, the 40 Under 40 award from CT Magazine.A dedicated single mother who is committed to raising her daughter to be well-versed in healthy relationships, Ms. Gallardo is further dedicated to making survivors feel comfortable, as she can relate to their experiences; she has walked in their shoes in a way that a therapist may not have, which allows them to connect and overcome their pain. Looking toward the future, she hopes to release the Veterans for Victims Program in Connecticut and, eventually, nationwide. Furthermore, Ms. Gallardo plans on completing her memoir, compiling the stories of other survivors, and cementing herself as a living example of life and success in the wake of domestic violence
Executive Director of Sarah Speaks Up
Public Speaker, Advocate, DV Counselor
Author of Hiding In Plain Sight
As little Sarah played with her dolls in the shade,
She never gave the mommy cuts and bruises.
When she grew up big and strong her Prince Charming came along
And she learned that every game they played, she loses.
The smiles turned to shouting,
Holding hands to flying fists. I
And every day another piece of Sarah was dismissed.
The love she had for him the greatest weapon that he chose.
Until the day he shot at her,
A nearly fatal miss.
She believed that she deserved it, that her life would end like this.
A hollow shell of skin and fear,
Not a human any more.
The exit in her mind now,
All while staring at the door.
Her power stripped, her spirit tattered.
Every day she’d cry.
Hopeless and confused, left wishing she would die.
Any hope that she’d get out alive belonged to someone else.
An outstretched hand, a call from home
To tell her that she’s not alone.
To stay and throw her life away or leave for the unknown.
Like a single firefly,
On its way to join the others and illuminate the sky.
Her hope, at first so slightly, swayed amidst the wind.
Now a fire burning brightly, day and nightly from within.
Her eyes open, let the hope in,
So she finally could look.
And write tomorrow, less the sorrow,
Another chapter in her book.
~ Sarah Gallardo ©