Our Team

Executive Director


 Jessica Friday, Executive Director of the Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center, passionately promotes advocacy, awareness, justice, and healing for victims.  In addition, Jessica firmly maintains that efficient and effective victim services and community outreach efforts are of the utmost importance to the continued growth of the organization and safety of our communities.  Prior to joining the team at Shining Star, Jessica reverently investigated crimes against children for nearly twelve years as a detective with the Dixon Police Department.  Jessica has a Bachelor’s of Science in General Studies from Northern Illinois University, and is currently completing her Master’s of Public Administration through Capella University.  Jessica currently serves on the Lee County Board of Health, on the Lee County initiative combating domestic violence and violence against women, and volunteers as a mentor in the Dixon Public Schools.  In addition, Jessica has been trained in Finding Words Illinois Forensic Interviewing, and has conducted numerous forensic interviews for Shining Star over the past 8 years. 

Forensic Interviewer


 Traci Mueller is the Forensic Interviewer at Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center. Traci has been conducting the Forensic Interviews at SSCAC for the last two years. Prior to her current position, Traci was the Director and Forensic Interviewer at DeKalb County Children’s Advocacy Center. Traci has been interviewing children involved in physical or sexual abuse investigations for the past 8 years and has interviewed over 700 children and teens. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Illinois State University. Traci has also completed the Finding Words Illinois Forensic Interviewing course and Advanced Forensic Interviewing courses in both physical abuse and sexual abuse. Traci has been working with survivors of abuse for the last 14 years and over 11 of those years have been with Children’s Advocacy Centers. Traci began her work with Children’s Advocacy Centers as the Executive Director at Shining Star when it first opened in 2003 and is pleased to be back working at SSCAC as the Forensic Interviewer. 

Family Advocate


 Jessica Cash has been working with children and families for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal   Justice from Upper Iowa University. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Judson University. Additionally,   she has attended numerous conferences and trainings on child abuse, youth mental health, domestic violence, and crisis management. Jessica   previously worked as a Children’s Domestic Violence Advocate at HOPE of Ogle County. There she provided individual services to children, facilitated   children’s support groups, and worked with parents providing crisis intervention and support. In June 2014, Jessica began working at Shining   Star Children’s Advocacy Center as the Family Advocate. In this role, Jessica provides emotional support for abused children and their families   throughout the forensic interview process and beyond.  She links them with vital counseling services and assists them with accessing other important   community resources. Jessica works with the multi-disciplinary team to ensure the best possible outcome is reached for children disclosing   abuse.  



 Marissa Krager is the Counselor at Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center. Marissa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Services from   Northern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Aurora University. Prior to her current position, Marissa did crisis therapy with   foster care children to stabilize their current home placement. Marissa’s role at Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center will be to provide therapy and   group services to abused children and help them go from being a victim to a survivor. Marissa works with the multi-disciplinary team to conclude the best therapy approach for each individual client.  

Board of Directors


Cathy Ferguson-Allen

Vice President  

Dave Schreiner


Lee County Sheriff's Department

 Chief Deputy David Glessner


Rochelle Police Department

 Chief Eric Higby


Lee County State’s Attorney 

Matt Klahn

Yavette Yarbrough


Ogle County Sheriff's Department 

Lt. Michael Schabacker


Ogle County State’s Attorney 

Eric Morrow


R. J. Gabaldon

Department of Children and Family Services 

Richard Echevarria

Dixon Police Department 

Lt. Brad Sibley 


Department of Children and Family Services

Angie Lopez


Dorothy Bowers


Maggie Nye


Kathy Marine

Community Partners


United Way of Lee and Ogle County

YWCA of the Sauk Valley

HOPE of Ogle County 

KSB Hospital 

Mobre Counseling 

Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois

National Children's Alliance 

National Children's Advocacy Centers