CJR Student Staff, Trieste Oatis, uses her experience as a transfer student to help welcome our incoming Beauty for Ashes students.
Here at the Center for Justice and Reconciliation, our students are integral to our work. Their experiences and perspectives help drive our initiatives forward. One such student has used her insight to shape our Beauty for Ashes program. Trieste Oatis joined the CJR as a student staff member in early 2021. Her passion for addressing issues of human trafficking, racial justice, and environmental justice initially drew her to the center as a student ambassador. As a transfer and commuter student, she had unique insight into the challenges of attending Point Loma as a non-traditional student. Trieste has been working on building an orientation for the students participating in the Beauty for Ashes scholarship, she says
“I have been able to offer what I went through at Point Loma, and hopefully be able to give some advice to help students get over some of the hurdles I faced.”
Trieste explained that while the professors and students tended to be very helpful and supportive, there were still difficulties being able to find a community on campus. She hopes that the Beauty for Ashes new student orientation can help students learn how to seek out connections on campus saying, “Connection doesn’t just fall into your lap. There is a risk you have to take to get connected.” She hopes that in the future, Point Loma can find ways to create space for integration between the residential and commuter students and through that build up a stronger community.
As for the orientation program, Trieste said,
“The biggest two things for me were that I knew we needed to talk about the importance of community and finding your rhythm within Point Loma. I also knew we needed to talk about how to prepare for the different spiritual and political views that students may not be used to and how to talk about those differences in a healthy way.”
Her perspective has been incredibly valuable as the CJR gears up to welcome the four new Beauty for Ashes scholarship recipients this fall. The CJR is grateful for the knowledge, experience, and unique perspective of our dedicated student team members.
What is the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship?
We asked ourselves, "What if we could offer scholarships?" What if we could stand with survivors and support their journey from victim, to survivor, to thriver?
This launched the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund, founded with the belief that an education at a Christian university is a critical long-term investment in the empowerment of survivors of human trafficking.
Point Loma Nazarene University is a nationally prominent Christian university where minds are engaged and challenged, character is molded and formed, and service becomes an expression of faith.
It is because of this mission that human trafficking matters to us. The roots of the Church of the Nazarene are grounded in reaching the marginalized. It's who we are at our core.
With the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund we are standing behind our mission for the most vulnerable- for those who have experienced exploitation.
Our vision is to sustainably support two new survivors each year at PLNU, growing to eight full-time students at all times. We strongly believe that PLNU offers not just a top-tier private education, but also a uniquely loving and supportive environment for emotional and spiritual healing as a part of getting an education. Donate here.
Hear this personal story about the impact of our Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund by watching this interview with the Center for Justice & Reconciliation staff and a scholarship recipient.