Alumni Early Achievement Award
Founder/Executive Director, Soaring Hearts Foundation
Des Moines, IA
(AA Criminal Justice 2014) – Ankeny Campus
In the blink of an eye, Tiffany Allison’s life took a dramatic turn at the hands of an abusive boyfriend.
The attack, which occurred in 2009, sparked a passion in Tiffany for advocacy. Today she is recognized regionally as a violent crimes victim advocate and the founder of Soaring Hearts Foundation.
Soaring Hearts Foundation was launched in 2014 while Tiffany was a student in the DMACC Criminal Justice Program on the Ankeny Campus. The foundation, which is led by Tiffany and includes a staff of five, advocates for victims of violent crime from coast to coast by drafting and lobbying for legislation, providing speakers, raising awareness of topics like veteran suicide, financially supporting grassroots advocacy efforts, and more.
Tiffany earned her Associate’s Degree from DMACC in 2015, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Mass Media Journalism from Simpson College in 2019. In addition to her work in the foundation, Tiffany is a Licensed Investigator and founder of investigation firm Lux Legal Services. She is also a licensed bail agent.
Her commitment to advocacy has resulted in well-deserved recognition both locally and nationally. Tiffany earned the AllState Foundation Purple Heart Award in 2017, the Polk County Crisis & Advocacy Wayne McCracken Memorial Award in 2016, and the Crime Fighter Award for Community Services in 2015. In nominating her for the Alumni Early Achievement Award, DMACC Criminal Justice Professor Samantha O’Hara, PhD, lauds Tiffany’s work in the community.
“Tiffany has provided a great deal of service to the Des Moines area,” Samantha says. “Tiffany was a member of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, Crime Victim Division’s biennial Victim Justice planning committee for several years. She provides a voice from a victim’s perspective, to ensure that conferences continue to be victim-centered and empowering.”
Polk County Crisis & Advocacy Services Counselor/Advocate Jason Hubbartt echoes Samantha’s sentiment.
“Tiffany has taken her victimization and turned it into a strength to help others overcome their challenges,” he says. “I greatly admire Tiffany’s commitment to the field of criminology, victimology, and trauma psychology as she helps local citizens through their traumatic situations and court-related proceedings.”
Providing a sense of empowerment is important to Tiffany in her work with the foundation. She says the ability to help others has aided her in processing her own trauma.
“Now instead of crying when I tell my story, I get to cry when I am told how it changed a life,” she says. Tiffany continues to assist in hosting DMACC’s National Crime Victims’ Week activities. “This has truly been a bittersweet journey. I am forever changed. I am so fortunate to be able to impact the lives of others, all while partnering with some of the most passionate and driven people in the world.”