RED WING — A Red Wing woman is being honored in February with the local Jefferson Award by Rochester’s KXLT-TV.
Micah Jeppesen, who turned her experience with dating violence into a warning and a call to action not to relinquish power over one’s own life, is being recognized for her community service. Jeppesen has worked with Hope Coalition, a Red Wing organization that helps victims of domestic violence and abuse, to spread her message.
In 2016, Jeppesen, then a senior at Cannon Falls High School, was the victim of a traumatic and violent dating experience. Her then-boyfriend — a boy she won’t name publicly as part of her efforts to move on — beat her while driving home from a graduation party. Jeppesen escaped and eventually found her way to Hope Coalition for counseling.
Eventually, Hope Coalition and Jeppesen worked together to produce a video about how power and control can be abused, and the signs that can lead to dating violence. The video, “Standing Strong,” is free to view on Hope Coalition’s Youtube channel.
Since the production of the video, Jeppesen has worked with Hope Coalition to present her video and story to students at Red Wing and Cannon Fall schools, local churches and at the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs annual state conference. In November 2017, she told her story to the Post Bulletin.
Hope Coalition’s Linda Flanders nominated Micah for KXLT-TV’s Jefferson Award because of her willingness to go public with her story and use her experience to help others.
“It’s amazing to see how this delightful teen has matured into a confident young woman,” Flanders said.
KXLT-TV will produce a video about Jeppesen as part of the award, and will post the video on its website for the month of February: Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
The Jefferson Award Foundation is a national organization celebrating Americans who realize their potential to impact lives and, in the process, improve their own. Past national recipients include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
Fox 47 TV honors a local individual each month for activism and service to their community.
On Feb. 6, Jeppesen will present her story at the First English Lutheran Church in Cannon Falls to a group of middle school students. Other members of the community are welcome as well.
“My goal is to help people recognize the signs of domestic violence,” Jeppesen said. “There are a lot more people who go through domestic violence than talked about. It’s not something to be ashamed of, it’s something to grow and learn from. It’s not your fault.”