Dr. Renee Coward, Executive Director

Renee Coward is now serving as the Executive Director for the AWAKE Children's Advocacy Center, after serving as the Case Manager/Victim Services Coordinator for over a year.  Renee brings a variety of skills and talents to the AWAKE Program gained from an extensive background working as a teacher for 20 years, and in leadership positions with the NC Science Teacher's Association and as Director of Programming at the NC Center for Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) in Cullowhee.  She has received numerous honors and awards for her accomplishments in her past employment roles and has an extensive list of professional memberships and community service in the Jackson County area.  Mrs. Coward is available to do presentations in the community on AWAKE services and child abuse-related topics.

E-mail Renee:


Paige Gilliland, Case Manager/Forensic Interviewer

Paige Gilliland is now serving as the full-time Case Manager/Victim Services Coordinator for the AWAKE Children's Advocacy Center.  Paige has been in the child advocacy field for nearly seven years, with experience as a Victim Advocate/Forensic Interviewer and Gaurdian Ad Litem in Haywood County. Paige recieved her Bachelor of Science degree from Western Carolina University. She is a certified Victim Services Practitioner and is trained in three nationally recognized Forensic Interview Protcols. Paige conducts forensic interviews of children at AWAKE, as well as offering case managment to families going through abuse situations. She is also trained in the Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse presentation and is an authorized facilitator of Stewards of Children's Darkness to Light program. Paige is available to do community presentations and trainings upon request. 

E-mail Paige:


Heather Odom, Victim Services Assistant  

Heather Odom is now serving as the Victim Services Assistant for the AWAKE Children's Advocacy Center. Heather recieved her Bachelor of Science degree from Western Carolina University. Heather brings a variety of skills to the AWAKE program. Heather gained a great amount of knowledge on Child Abuse while studying Psychology and Special Education at Western. 

E-mail Heather: 



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