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Our Founder

Founding Executive Director

Sarai T Smith-Mazariegos

Sarai has been helping high-risk youth in various capacities for over 19 years and has achieved groundbreaking strides in her field. She has worked with survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, runaway/homeless youth, foster care/probation minors, group homes/shelters, juvenile courts, and the last 17 years supporting CSEC-specific services. Sarai is a specialist in crisis intervention and trauma-informed care services for women and children who have experienced sexual abuse. Extensive knowledge in residential and direct services management, victimology, youth development, and program and resource development, community building though awareness and teach in events, advocacy in addressing gender-based violence, and social injustice with young girls.

She is a member of the San Francisco Mayor’s Human Trafficking Task Force, Program Committee of San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking, member of SBCEHT-No Traffick Ahead, executive committee of AC United, CEASE (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) Network and Former Co-Chair of Alameda County Sexually Exploited Minors Network. Sarai is also one of the four Co-Founders of MISSSEY and former program director and Chairwoman for MISSSEY's Board of Directors. She was previously the Youth Support Center Site Supervisor & CSEC Program Coordinator for Alameda Family Services-DreamCatcher Runaway/Homeless Youth Services Division, where she managed a support center, provided a variety of support services to high-risk youth and coordinated the development of the first Alameda County CSEC Home (Nika's Place) with the same non-profit...-opened 2017.

Sarai has designed trainings and trains law enforcement, service providers, health care professionals, teachers, etc. on prevention, how to effectively engage and provide trauma-informed care services to victims/survivors of sexual exploitation. She is also Founder of Survivors Healing, Advising and Dedicated to Empowerment (S.H.A.D.E) Movement – which is a survivor led, based consulting, advocacy anti human trafficking organization, providing trainings, court advocacy, crisis intervention-victim/survivor advocacy, support groups, program, and policy development, awareness events, street outreach, and survivor leadership program. Sarai feels that her own personal experience as a survivor of child commercial sexual exploitation has been a motivation and true education in being able to thrive in her journey to help other fellow survivors free themselves.

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