This morning first responders and victims advocates across the state were recognized for their service to their communities during an annual ceremony at the Capitol to commemorate National Crime Victim's Rights Week.
Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott honored seven incredible leaders for exceptional efforts in protecting and counseling victims.Victim Services Advocate with the Orlando United Assistance Center and Community Outreach Coordinator of QLatinx Joél Morales was among the recipients of this honor.
"[It] was a great honor to receive [the] 2016 Distinguished Victim Services Award during 2017 National Crime Victim's Rights Week." said Morales. Following the 2016 Pulse nightclub attack, that disproportionately impacted Orlando's LGBTQ+ and person of color communities, Morales stepped in to serve offering guidance to those directly impacted by the shooting and to the families of those whose lives were taken.
"I am thankful for all who dedicated their lives to serving victims of crime, including those who rushed to the scene of tragedy following the Pulse nightclub attack—we honored some of those individuals today for their work helping victims and their families in the aftermath of the attack," said Bondi in a statement. "All our award recipients are exceptional and play a vital role in helping victims heal and I am eternally grateful for their service."
To watch the full ceremony on The Florida Channel, click here.