Olivia Zhou Receives WSBA's Local Hero Award | March 7, 2019
OLYMPIA, WA [March 7, 2019] — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) has named Olivia Zhou as the most recent recipient of the Local Hero Award for her commitments that help and support hundreds of people affected by addiction and mental illness.
The Local Hero Award is given to those who have made noteworthy contributions to their communities. WSBA President Bill Pickett presented the award at a luncheon on Thursday, March 7, at Hotel RL in Olympia. Zhou was nominated by the Government Lawyers Bar Association of Washington (GLBA).
“Olivia goes about the business of organizing, fundraising, and working hard on a number of community nonprofit boards being quietly effective and producing results that improve the lives of the mentally ill, single mothers and children, and literally hundreds of citizens caught in the cycle of addiction,” Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney said of Zhou, noting that based on his 31-year career in the U.S. Army, she embodies the qualities “I so admired in my best military colleagues.”
In addition to fundraising and volunteer work with multiple community organizations—the Young Women's Christian Association Board of Directors; the Board of Behavior Health Services; Family Education and Support Services Board of Directors; and Harvest House, a new facility that will provide addiction and support services to mothers and children—Zhou assists with weekend mock trail competitions and has been instrumental toward using the law and the court to go beyond prosecutions and help people heal and thrive.
As an active member of the Thurston County Adult Drug and DUI court program, Zhou provides insight, resources, and opportunities to defendants to help them get treatment. In at least one case, Zhou helped a defendant find a job that provided the stability they needed to recover from addiction. In fact, it’s common for Drug Court participants to personally thank Zhou for her role in their recovery.
Zhou has been a Thurston County prosecuting attorney since 2011 and has worked on myriad cases ranging from felony to vehicular assault/homicide to financial crimes.
“Olivia’s dedication to the Thurston County Drug Court and its participants has been vital to the program’s success over her years of involvement,” said Thurston County Superior Court Judge Erik Price. “Balancing the role of a prosecutor with the collaboration required in Drug Court can be difficult, but I could always count on Olivia to manage those challenges with empathy and a deep care for our community.”
About the Washington State Bar Association
The WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court and exercises a governmental function authorized by the Court to license and regulate the state’s nearly 40,000 legal professionals, including lawyers, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians. The WSBA both regulates legal professionals under the authority of the Court and serves its members as a professional association — all without public funding. The WSBA administers the Bar admission process, including the bar exam; provides record-keeping and licensing functions; administers the lawyer discipline system; and provides continuing legal education for legal professionals, in addition to numerous other educational and member-service activities. The Bar’s mission is to serve the public and its members, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.