Crystal Isle

Crystal Isle, Vice President

Freedom From Exploitation

Not every sad story has a tragic ending. If all statistics were valid, I would be dead. My beginnings were riddled with dysfunction and abuse and yet here I am today. If someone were to have told me six years ago that I would be spending my Friday night writing an essay for an academic scholarship I would have laughed in their face. I was born to an eighteen year old drug addict single parent who did the best she could. Being sexualized and sexually exploited at the age of eight was the impetus to twenty five years of maladaptive behaviors including: domestic violence relationships, criminal behavior and drug addiction. I was literally on a downward spiral from the very beginning. On the tenth of March, 2010 I made the decision to turn my life around and since that day I have never looked back. For the past five and a half years I have been sharing my story and by doing so I have made a strong positive impact in my community.

In fall of 2011 I enrolled in San Diego City College (SDCC) as a re-entry student. At this point in my life I was a 35 year old single parent with absolutely no job skills and no previous work experience to speak of. Today I am a full time student at SDCC with a 4.0 grade-point average, a tutor for the psychology department, and hold the officer positon of treasurer with Psi Beta (honor society for psychology students). I am applying for admissions at Point Loma Nazarene University fall 2016 to obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work. I have found that I have a passion for learning and helping others do the same.

Outside of school I work very hard to have a positive impact within my community. For the past four years I have been a volunteer for a not-for-profit organization called Freedom From Exploitation (FFE). I am proud to say that last year I was voted on as the vice president of FFE and spend many hours a week combatting human trafficking. Three times a month I facilitate trauma informed groups for the Polinski Center for Children. In these groups I share my story in detail with young ladies ages 13-18 that are at high risk for human trafficking, multiple types of exploitation, domestic violence and non-suicidal self-injury. With FFE I also facilitate/co-facilitate Survivor of the Streets (SOS) meetings on a weekly basis. SOS is a first offense diversion program for women who have been arrested for prostitution. These groups include HIV education and testing, process groups, and domestic violence awareness classes. I have been on many panels for San Unified School District in an effort to educate high school students on the dangers of human trafficking and how to avoid being a victim through awareness.

My desire is to dedicate my life to help support people who have been victims of human trafficking and help them to find their lives again. By sharing my experience I believe that I can help people realize that there is no limit to what they can accomplish, regardless of what stage of life they are in and no matter what they have had to endure.