At 16, Daniela came to youthSpark because she was missing too much school. She could no longer stand going because she was constantly mocked by other students. What her classmates didn’t know was that Daniela was forced to dance at a strip club in Atlanta and have sex with the men there to pay her family’s light bill and buy enough groceries to get by. The only thing in abundance in Daniela’s life was abuse, hunger, and shame.
Success can take many forms. In this case, success was embracing a model where we are able to, over time, help Daniela recognize the nature of an exploitative relationship. Daniela is not in a safe house, but she now recognizes that she was put into unhealthy and exploitative positions. Daniela does not want to give up, and has mapped out a positive path for her future. She continues to come to Voices, and is making a plan to start back and then finish her high school education.