Lemons to Lemonade

Lemons to Lemonade


Lemonade Maker: Rachel Lloyd

posted by ajurkowitz

Inspiring Person: Rachel Lloyd, 37, is the Executive Director and Founder of Girls Educational & Mentoring Service (GEMS).

What She Does Now: GEMS is an organization that serves girls and young women who have been victims of the commercial sex trafficking industry. By providing a safe place for young women to stay, as well as a community offering education, guidance, and help with life skills, Rachel has helped hundreds of girls, ages 12-24 to exit the commercial sex trafficking industry and realize their full potential.

 Where She Came From: A survivor of the commercial sex trafficking industry herself, Rachel is a U.K. native who came to the United States at 22 after spending her teenage years in what she calls “The Life.” She dropped out of high school to support herself, and by the time she was 17 became sucked into the world of stripping and prostitution in Germany.

 Her Perspective: An excerpt from Girls Like Us, Rachel’s memoir about her past and the work she has accomplished since starting GEMS. Here, she talks about her first year at GEMS:

“I cry for hours at home and have fitful nights of little sleep. My nightmares resurface as my own pain is repeated to me, magnified a thousand times. It feels insurmountable. How can you save every­one? How can you rescue them? How do you get over your pain? How do you ever feel normal?

I don’t have many answers, for myself or for the girls. So I listen and listen, doing my best to learn as much as I can, to make the con­nections, to be open and honest about my own experiences, to be sincere, to love them and not judge. And while that isn’t much to offer, it becomes the basis for some amazing relationships.”

Get Inspired: You can read more about Rachel and GEMS by purchasing or checking out her book, Girls Like Us, from the library. The GEMS website also offers a variety of ways to get involved.

Make Lemonade Today: Rachel emphasizes the importance of language when speaking about this sensitive topic. She says referring to these young women as “child prostitutes” isn’t accurate or appropriate, since it denotes choice in the matter. Rather than saying “child prostitute,” say that a girl was “in the commercial sex trafficking industry.”

 



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Lemons To Lemonade. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 2:30:23pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Today on Milkshake!
MILKSHAKE,our daily email that features great finds that give back - including inspirational people, products, causes and companies making a difference in the world, today featured LEMONS TO LEMONADE!! Take a read below, and if you want to submit your own story to us, please do!When life hands you l

posted 7:47:57am Jun. 22, 2012 | read full post »

Empathy

posted 5:35:49pm Jun. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Milkshake Loves: Artisinal Backpacks
Once sported exclusively by school kids, the backpack is making a major comeback. The two-strap style is kinder on your body and better for your posture than a tote, no matter how trendy or fashion-forward it may be. Fortunately, we've found the perfect bag that will fulfill all your day-to-day need

posted 2:55:47pm May. 26, 2012 | read full post »

Who Says Little People (Or Dogs) Can't Handle Big Things?

posted 5:12:41pm May. 22, 2012 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.