The January 2014 issue of Washingtonian Magazine honored Thankful as one of their 12 local heroes that make the Washington area a better place to live. Thankful Vanderstar ’84 is currently an attorney with the Department of Justice in the Office of Immigration Litigation and a long-time anti-violence advocate.
Outside her career, Thankful is an active volunteer. She volunteered for several years with WEAVE: Women Empowered Against Violence, helping them in the mornings before going to work for four years. She then served on the WEAVE board of directors for six years and an additional year as co-chair. She was a pen pal with female war survivors for Women for Women International, an organization that works with socially-excluded women in eight countries where war and conflict have devastated lives and communities. Currently, Thankful spends her morning hours before work and when she returns at the end of the day, volunteering for RAINN ( Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), by manning the sexual-assault hotline. This hotline is the nation's first secure web-based hotline that provides live and completely confidential help to victims through an interface as intuitive as instant messaging.Alumnae