Because her parents ran a women’s shelter, Natalie Tibbs was exposed early to trauma and difficult circumstances, and she decided: “I want to be part of the hope and the beauty and not the ugliness in the world.”
Though it made an impression at the time, Tibbs knows now through her work that she was shielded from the darkest aspects of abuse as a child.
Tibbs has served as sexual assault nurse examiner for 11 years at Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County and in an administrative role for about four.
She considers it a calling and leans on her Christian faith to get through tough days.
“These children’s stories — no matter how traumatic, horrible and scary they are — I need to be able to walk through that time of ashes with them, because we all need someone who can walk beside us in our darkest times,” she said.
Her proudest professional moments are when former clients return to the center, often years later.
“Sometimes, they tell me that small window of time that I spent with them was life-changing for them,” Tibbs said. “We never know what type of impact we’ll have on the children.
“I’m here to make a difference in that child’s life, no matter how big or small,” she said.
Tibbs graduated with an associate degree from NorthWest Arkansas Community College in 2006.
Outside of work, she serves on the school board at First Baptist Christian School and on the community health board for Mercy Health.
She and her husband have four children, including a baby they adopted six months ago.
Tibbs follows the CrossFit fitness regimen, coaches her daughter’s soccer team and is active at the family’s church, First Baptist Church in Rogers.