Seeds of Hope reaches youth
‘My Life My Choice’ group promotes human trafficking awareness.
Eight girls recently graduated from the My Life My Choice (MLMC) group at The Salvation Army Seeds of Hope anti-human trafficking program in Las Vegas.
Created through the Justice Resource Institute by Lisa Goldblatt Grace and a group of other professionals, MLMC consists of 10 sessions designed to educate at-risk and sexually exploited teens ages 12-17 on how to recognize and avoid further exploitation.
The curriculum has since been modified by MLMC Associate Director and Survivor Mentor, Audrey Porter and youth participants.
According to Stacey Cramer, Seeds of Hope program director, MLMC is run by staff in partnership with The Embracing Project, The Rape Crisis Center and Nevada Child Seekers.
At weekly meetings, girls learn about their risk of exploitation and about how substance abuse impacts exploitation. They are taught how to develop a higher self-esteem, understand the beauty of their bodies, and how to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The group also encourages open discussion on perceptions and attitudes of the commercial sex industry.
Due to its small staff, Seeds of Hope is only able to run one group at a time.
“We have graduated 12 girls from two groups thus far,” Cramer said. “The hope is that we could run these groups consistently not only at our Center for Peace location, but also in juvenile detention and other locations to reach the most youth possible.”
MLMC focuses on attitude, knowledge and skills.
“You can’t always love someone and trust them because they are not who they say they are,” said a graduate. Another graduate said, “I learned that we are worth more than we thought we were.”