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Photo credit: Jeremie Vella, Affinity magazine

 

 

Stephanie Pollaro - Co-founder, International Sanctuary - Golden West College

Stephanie Pollaro's passion for empowering women and children suffering in the bonds of sexual slavery was born from a magazine article that she read in May 2003. The article outlined the brutality of human sex trafficking in India and around the world. After several short trips to India and a one-year volunteer stint with an Indian NGO in Andhra Pradesh that served women and girls in red light districts, Stephanie was struck by the need to provide skills training and employment alternatives for young women rescued from forced commercial sexual exploitation.

International Sanctuary is the realization of Stephanie' dream to create a business that helps those freed from enslavement to sustain themselves with marketable artisan skills. For the past five years, Stephanie has lived in Mumbai, India, where she works with trafficking survivors, teaching the art of jewelry-making. In addition to driving International Sanctuary' strategic direction as president, Stephanie is responsible for providing much of the first-person care and training to the girls who participate in iSanctuary's programs.

Stephanie holds a master's degree in counseling from California State University, Long Beach, and was selected as one of OC Metro Magazine's "Top 40 Under 40 Business Entrepreneurs of 2009." It is Stephanie's objective to see girls living lives free of bondage and full of hope.

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