Community Champion of the Week: The Lifeboat Project



>>I THOUGHT I WAS GOING HOME
AND THOUGHT I WAS ONLY GOING TO
BE HERE FOR THE WEEKEND. BUT NEXT THING YOU KNOW I LIVE
, IN AMERICA NOW. SUMMER: THIS YOUNG WOMAN, WHO
WANTED TO CONCEAL HER IDENTITY,
CAME TO THE U.S. FROM THE
BAHAMAS WITH HER MOTHER, WHO WAS
ESCAPING AN ABUSIVE
RELATIONSHIP. THE PAIR BECAME EASY TARGETS FOR
HUMAN TRAFFICKING.>>THE DESPERATION OPENED THE
DOOR FOR PEOPLE TO TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF HER. SUMMER: SHE AND HER MOTHER
BECAME VICTIMS OF LABOR
TRAFFICKING PROMISED WORK, BUT
, AFTER THE JOB WAS COMPLETE,
THEY WERE REFUSED PAY.>>BASICALLY INTIMIDATING US
WITH THE THREAT, I’M GOING TO
CALL ICE ON YOU. SUMMER: THEIR EMPLOYERS DEMENTED
WORK FOR FREE, OR ELSE.>>THEN I MET JILL AND THE
LIFEBOAT PROJECT, AND THAT’S
WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED. SUMMER: JILL BOLANDER COHEN IS
CEO OF THE LIFEBOAT PROJECT.>>WE ARE A SERVICE PROVIDER FOR
VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOR
SEX, LABOR AND SERVITUDE
TRAFFICKING. SUMMER: LIFEBOAT WORKS TO
SURROUND SURVIVORS IN CENTRAL
FLORIDA WITH ALL THE TOOLS AND
SUPPORT THEY WILL NEED TO
RECOVER AND MOVE ON WITH LIFE.>>SURVIVORS COME FROM ALL WALKS
OF LIFE SOME CAN COME FROM WHERE
THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HOMELESS
OR BEEN IN AN ABUSIVE SITUATION,
OR THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM. SUMMER FROM VICTIM ADVOCATE
: ASSISTANCE TO MENTORING, AND
EVEN FURTHERING THEIR EDUCATION.>>IT’S A SUPPORT SYSTEM 9:38 WE
ARE WITH YOU FOR THE REST OF
YOUR LIFE. SUMMER: THE LIFEBOAT PROJECT
LAUNCHED IN 2011 WHEN JILL FELT
COMPELLED TO GET INVOLVED.>>THESE ARE CRIMES AGAINST
HUMANITY. AND EVERYONE, IT IS THEIR JOB TO
STEP UP. SUMMER: NOW LEADING BY EXAMPLE,
SHE IS CHANGING LIVES.>> I GET COUNSELING TO KIND OF
WORK THROUGH ALL OF THE HURT AND
THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO ME AND
THEY HELP ME WITH BASICALLY
EVERYTHING. THE LIFEBOAT IS MY LIFE RIGHT
NOW. [LAUGHTER]
SUMMER: A LIFE THAT NOT ONLY
ALLOWS HER TO SMILE AGAIN, BUT
TO DREAM AGAIN.>>I’M TRYING TO GET MY AA RIGHT
NOW IN BIOMEDICAL STUDIES, THEN
I WANT TO GET MY BACHELORS IN
BIOCHEMISTRY AND THEN MY MASTERS
AND PHD. I WANT TO GET ALL OF THAT. SUMMER THANKS TO JILL BOLANDER
: COHEN AND THE LIFEBOAT PROJECT
OUR WESH 2 COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS
OF THE WEEK. SUMMER: THE LIFEBOAT PROJECT HAS
SEVERAL WAYS YOU CAN GET
INVOLVED IN HELPING SURVIVORS
LIKE THE WOMAN IN MY STORY. JUST HEAD TO THE LIFEBOAT
PROJECT DOT ORG FOR MORE
DETAILS. MEREDITH: BRINGING HOPE TO SO
MANY PEOPLE, SO IMPORTANT. WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE PEOPLE
YOU CONSIDER COMMUNITY
CHAMPIONS. IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WORKING TO
MAKE THINGS BETTER HERE

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