In observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month students who attend the Embrace Girls Foundation, Carol City Senior High program developed a slogan, designed and researched resources for a sticker that will be shared with their peers and distributed in places where vulnerable people may go.
"It's small and very attractive with lots of information people can use,” according to Velma R. Lawrence, CEO and founder of the Embrace Girls Foundation, a non-profit organization in existence since 2001 serving girls with an emphasis on those who are at risk academically and socially. "We're very proud of the work the girls put into the project and their commitment to the cause of keeping themselves and their peers safe."
On Thursday, Jan. 9 at 1 p.m. a forum at Carol City Senior High will be held featuring Telisia Espinosa, an adult survivor of human trafficking, now an advocate for all victims of exploitation. Espinosa was born and raised in an abusive home in Miami Gardens, and by the age of 16, she was living on the streets. With little self-worth, she took a job working in a strip club in Miami. There, she met a man who showed her the kind of attention she longed for and before she realized it, Espinosa was sold on street corners across the country.
Espinosa now travels throughout the U.S., telling the story of God’s love, redemption and hope. She shares her story with transparency and authenticity with the hope that it will awaken others to the tragedies that exist in their own communities, and move them to get involved with local grassroots organizations. Espinosa coaches victims who are transitioning and in recovery.
"We must get to girls far before they're teens to instill in them their value, ways to be proactive in keeping themselves safe and more importantly, resources and mentors that can help them get through troubled times in their lives" said Espinosa. “When kids are troubled really bad things happen like the R. Kelly situation and the believed suicide of the high school football player."