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Maya Carlisle steps in as new victim advocate at Grand Canyon Village

Maya Carlisle will serve the communities of Grand Canyon Village and Tusayan in her role as victim advocate at the Grand Canyon. (V. Ronnie Tierney/WGCN)

Maya Carlisle will serve the communities of Grand Canyon Village and Tusayan in her role as victim advocate at the Grand Canyon. (V. Ronnie Tierney/WGCN)

Life can be challenging at times, for all of us.

Having someone who can offer support as a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on or direct us to the right resources is the ticket to resolution.

Grand Canyon Victim Advocate Maya Carlisle, who stepped into her new position just months ago, believes that no one should have to go through difficult times alone.

“It is my goal to provide support to victims and witnesses of crime and crisis in the greater Grand Canyon community. If I can’t provide a direct solution, then I can connect people with resources that may be helpful to them,” Carlisle said.

Housed in the Xanterra Human Resources Department, Carlisle is not affiliated with Xanterra, but Xanterra provides the space for her office.

“I work for Victim Witness Services for Coconino County.”

Stating that she is not a counselor or a licensed mental health counselor, Carlisle contends that she is here to support and assist people on their healing journeys.

“We do that in many ways,” she said. “We collaborate with our clients to create individualized plans based on their experiences, histories, needs, concerns, and goals. If anyone is going through a difficult time, I’m here. I can connect people to financial, mental health, housing, food, and legal services. I’m here to help everyone in the community.”

Carlisle says she is also able to meet with people where they feel comfortable. She said confidentiality is of utmost importance and stated that she can meet outside of her office as well.

Victim Witness Services for Coconino County Director, Jen Runge said Victim Witness Services is proud to have Carlisle serve the Grand Canyon community.

“Maya has demonstrated strong problem-solving skills and is highly empathetic in her work with victims of crime,” she said. “Maya is a great fit with the agency and has a passion for working with the Grand Canyon community.”

Advocate Supervisor for Victim Witness Services of Coconino County, Deborah Fresquez agreed.

“Maya is a great fit because of her understanding of national park culture and the people who live and visit there,” she said. “We appreciate her positive attitude and outlook.”

Before accepting her position as victim advocate, Carlisle worked for the park service throughout the United States at national parks, including Yosemite National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Zion National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Grand Canyon National Park.

While at national parks, Carlisle worked at entrance stations and visitor centers. As a collateral duty, she served in the critical incident stress management program and as a family liaison officer. She was also a Hospice volunteer for many years.

“This is the kind of work I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “I want to help people experiencing grief and trauma.”

Carlisle also worked in North Carolina at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Originally from Trinidad, Colorado, Carlisle earned her bachelors through American Public University while working for the National Park Service.

“As a collateral duty, I was a family liaison officer. I was the park contact for families experiencing crisis or traumatic incidents that required special support,” she said.

Carlisle said she changed careers because she want to help people who were experiencing grief and trauma.

“In our positions as victim advocates, we’re not licensed mental health counselors but we’re here to be a support to people on their journeys to healing. We do that in many ways depending on the person, their needs, and concerns,” she said.

In her off-time Carlisle enjoys gardening and hiking.

To schedule an appointment with Carlisle call (928) 864-9791.

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