In this episode, Director Sandra Morgan and GCWJ Board member Dave Stachowiak introduce Alicia Zayas who is a Vanguard Alum to discuss how to prepare a community to rescue individuals from human trafficking. Alicia shares that the best way to start out in the fight against human trafficking is to become educated about these issues and to get your community involved educationally. She touches on some of the implementation pieces that are key such as the education piece and outreach by reaching out to high schools, middle schools, youth through youth prevention summits, using training presentations, and going out and training local police departments. It’s all about studying the issues, being a voice, and making a difference. Alicia played a vital role in the successful bust of a human trafficking ring in Tulare County, California in August 2016. Read about it here, and here.
Alicia Woodard Zayas bio:
Alicia completed her BA in Sociology at Vanguard University with a Women’s Studies Minor, where she began her passion for ending human trafficking and served in the Global Center. She volunteered with the OCHTTF to assist survivors and train volunteers for local outreach and Live2free students to go into OC schools. She went on to complete her Masters in Social Work at Cal State University Bakersfield. For the last 4 years, she has been a part of the Tulare County Child Welfare Services as a social worker, where she helped create policies and procedures that tackle the issue of commercial exploitation of children. Her training programs equipped law enforcement and Child Welfare partners to serve the 52 victims of a recent human trafficking bust in Tulare County. She continues to sit on the Tulare County Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Steering Committee providing training in Tulare County. Alicia is also in the process of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alicia was the recipient of the Director’s Young Leader Award at Priceless 2016. This award recognizes service by an outstanding young leader who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to promoting justice for women and children through their work and leadership. Alicia was also the recipient of Vanguard’s 2017 Young Alumni of the Year award in March.
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