Spotlight on SNAP Toledo Leader Extraordinaire, Claudia Vercellotti
One of SNAP's impressive volunteer leaders was recently profiled for the "Alumni Spotlight" for her Alma Mater. Way to go, Claudia!
Meet Claudia Vercellotti
Tiffin University MS in CJ Graduate
Advocate for Victim Rights
Could you tell us about your background? (hometown, education, etc.)
I was born, adopted at 3 weeks of age and raised in Toledo, Ohio in a loving family, where I was the middle child and only girl. Fortunately, raised with two brothers, I was pushed at a young age to believe that I could do anything the boys could do.
My first job beyond a paper route, was at the Toledo Zoo, where at age 14 or 15, I rode a bike 8 miles each way and earned $3.00 an hour, making cotton candy and homemade lemonade. I worked under the leadership of Kay Ball, my earliest professional mentor. I looked up to her because she was such a strong woman, good with numbers, incredibly honest with an infectious laugh, an incredible work ethic, and had an uncanny ability to advocate and motivate people by empowering them.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, with an emphasis in psychology from the University of Cincinnati. I earned my master’s degree in criminal justice (MCJ) with an emphasis in forensic psychology from Tiffin University. Most recently, I have completed 54 post graduate hours and earned graduate certifications in child advocacy, patient advocacy, elder law & gerontological practice from the University of Toledo. I have also earned national credentials that enable me to represent claimants seeking disability benefits administratively before Social Security.
I have spent much of my career as an advocate, in some capacity, as a volunteer or working in the public and private sector, business, healthcare and non-profits organizations. I spent a significant number of years working as an investigative research interviewer, where I did a lot of street tracking and traveled in out of prisons, interviewing people, and gathering their life narratives under several amazing sociologists. It is there where I learned that “what” people do, isn’t nearly as interesting as “why” people do what they do.