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The Flourish Academy

At the Center for Justice & Reconciliation, we empower survivors of human trafficking to reach their greatest potential — and to do that we believe teaching life skills with a focus on holistic health is a great step along the journey to a new life.

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Empowering Survivors to Flourish

Human trafficking is a public health crisis, and tied to the high recidivism rate is a survivor’s ability to build a healthy life with a financially stable future. Launching the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship helped us realize that there are many additional barriers beyond paying for college.

Education propels us toward our dreams, so we began to look at what additional support survivors need as they build new lives.  Because their exploitation occurred during key developmental milestones, survivors often miss essential life skills, and the combination of life skills and a college education or vocational training provides survivors the tools they need to build a restored and anchored life.

These efforts launched the OnRamps Collaborative, a regional effort we lead, to create access to education and vocational opportunities for survivors of trafficking. Out of OnRamps grew the new Flourish Academy, a place where survivors from around our region come to acknowledge the obstacles that have weighed them down, and learn a new way forward.

The Flourish Academy empowers survivors to pursue their healing through the lens of emotional, spiritual, physical, social, intellectual, environmental, and financial health. Partnering with the Kinesiology and Integrated Wellness program at PLNU to design the new program, we are excited to offer this first of its kind opportunity for survivors to gain important life skills as they build new futures free from exploitation. 

Jessica Kim, MSW, the CJR’s Program Director, Educational Pathways, is leading the CJR’s development of the Flourish Academy. 

“Survivors of trafficking are the most resilient people I know. It’s an incredible process to watch our University community come together to develop a program that will help empower survivors to change the trajectory of their lives,” says Jessica Kim. “We get to watch them move from survivor to thriver.”

Holistic Health Wheel

Curriculum Development

The program is facilitated by Survivor Advocates partnering with the Kinesiology and Integrated Wellness Master's programs at PLNU to design the new curriculum. Based on a holistic health model and various evidence-based techniques, the Flourish Academy will give survivors the opportunity to gain important life skills as they build new futures free from exploitation.

This 10-week program will include but is not limited to the following life skills: 

1. Develop healthy coping skills and habits of daily living unique to each participant

2. Understand lifestyle choices and external factors affecting health

3. Promote stress management and coping skills

4. Apply OnRamps Life Skills and components of health and wellness for sustainable job employment

5. Graduates of the program will have the opportunity to become mentors to future survivors and cohorts as well as the option of pursuing higher education with the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship

*Classes are intended to be conducted face-to-face. Although, at this time, classes will be virtual due to COVID-19 until we are able to resume in-class meetings.

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Jeff Sullivan, Ph.D., ATC, Vice Dean, College of Health Sciences and Professor of Kinesiology at Point Loma Nazarene University reflects on what the Beauty for Ashes scholarship and Flourish Academy mean to him.

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Applying for the Flourish Academy

The Center for Justice & Reconciliation is committed to providing this curriculum free of charge to survivors.   If you are a survivor of human trafficking and are interested in participating in the Flourish Academy, we are currently taking applicants for our first cohort. You own your story and you will never be asked or be required to share your story as a condition for participating. For more information about applying to PLNU and the process of participating in the Flourish Academy, please contact Jessica Kim, Program Director, Educational Pathways at jessicakim@pointloma.edu.

*Human trafficking survivors are defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its subsequent reauthorizations as:

1. sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or

2. the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery (22 U.S.C. § 7102(9)).