LaVonya Malveaux, LMSW
A 1985 graduate of the Louisiana School of Math, Science, and the Arts, Ms. Malveaux received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in Mass Communications with minors in English, Business, and Music in May 1989. Because of her love for her community and a desire to find “stable” employment within St. Landry Parish, Ms. Malveaux accepted a state civil service position in 1990 with the Louisiana Department of Social Services that commenced her career in social work. After heeding a call to further her education, she received a Master in Social Work Degree in May 1996 from the Southern University at New Orleans’ graduate program with a focus in administration, planning, and organization.
Years in the child welfare field provided Ms. Malveaux with the social work practice, skills, and knowledge to work with underserved populations and to build relationships with diverse community stakeholders and other service providers. While employed with the St. Landry Parish Office of Community Services, she recognized the lack of available resources needed to strengthen the quality of life in rural communities. Having directly experienced the burden social service agencies share in making appropriate referrals for its clients, Ms. Malveaux retired from 9 years of active state service to establish a non-profit rape crisis center in 1999. With a staff of one (herself) and a volunteer pool of 21 trained volunteer advocates, she created the St. Landry-Evangeline Sexual Assault Center (SLESAC) and began delivering sexual assault intervention services that were previously inaccessible to rural communities.
While directing the SLESAC, she telecommuted to Los Angeles, CA from June 2000 until December 2004 for the J.E. Abernathy Community Outreach, Inc. as the Program Director for Marilyn’s Manor, a county-funded residential care facility for homeless persons living with AIDS. From April 2002 through April 2009, Ms. Malveaux served as a councilwoman for the Village of Palmetto, Louisiana. She directed Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives serving a ten-parish region of southwest Louisiana to improve the socio-economic well-being of citizens in rural communities from February 2006 through April 2009.
Recognizing her choice of occupation as a vocation (“a calling”), Ms. Malveaux extends her concern and compassion for her community in various settings. She gives first priority to her church (New Life Church of God, Palmetto) where she not only serves as the minister of music, but also as vice-chair of its ministries council and a board of trustees’ member. Ms. Malveaux volunteers her time to various community groups including the St. Landry Parish Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Leadership Council, the Louisiana Workforce Investment Board #40 Youth Council, an advisory committee member for Project H.O.P.E (Helping One another Push for Excellence) – an after-school tutorial and drug education/prevention program for at-risk rural children age 6-18, and the North Central High Schools’ Athletic Program. She is a past board member of the St. Landry Chamber of Commerce and Acadiana C.A.R.E.S (Concern for AIDS Relief through Education and Support) and currently serves on the following boards and coalitions: the St. Landry Parish Children and Youth Services Planning Board; Louisiana Court Administrators’ Association – President; the Louisiana City Court Clerksk’ Association; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Acadiana Regional Team Coalition; the Re-Entry Alliance for Louisiana; and, the Louisiana Coordinated System of Care’s Statewide Coordinating Council – Region 5 Representative; the St. Landry-Evangeline Anti-human Trafficking Task Force, the Opelousas Sunrise Club, and the St. Landry Toastmasters.
Ms. Malveaux is presently employed as the Judicial Administrator for the Opelousas City Court and currently volunteers her time as Program Coordinator for Sanctuary #1 – a college-based initiative providing residential, academic, social, peer, and spiritual support to St. Landry Parish students attending Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA and is the contract Social Worker with the Board of Regents’ Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA).