Youth Development

THE SET ME FREE PROJECT

Trafficking Stops With Me

Omaha, NE   |  https://setmefreeproject.net

Mission

Bringing prevention education to youth and families to stop trafficking before it starts.

Ruling year info

2015

CEO/President

Stephanie Olson

Main address

11620 M Circle

Omaha, NE 68137 USA

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EIN

47-3990516

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Human trafficking is defined as a form of modern-day slavery and the force, fraud, or coercion of a human being for the personal profit and gain of another. It is now the second fastest growing crime (only second to the drug trade) globally and is a $150 billion business (including sex and labor trafficking).

Our goal is to endeavor to raise the conversation of the hidden, yet flourishing sex trade in Nebraska and Iowa with a curriculum to educate and empower the most vulnerable populations -- our youth.

Only 1-2% of all victims of trafficking are ever rescued. Because of this, our goal is to stop trafficking before it starts.

According to Bradley Myers, of Polaris Project, "victims of child sex trafficking are frequently only 15 to 17 years old. Some are as young as 12."

This makes our youth targets and vulnerable to traffickers. According to research provided by The Women's Fund of Omaha, "every month, 900 individuals are sold for sex, often multiple times, in Nebraska."

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Prevention Education to Students

Our curriculum has been used throughout Nebraska and Iowa, as well as many other school districts and communities. We can facilitate presentations in a classroom setting (preferred) or a group assembly style, and each presentation can be tailored to your school and students. Topics covered include: Elementary School students (3-5th grades) Empathy, Responsibility, and Safety - Real World and Online Middle School students (6-8th grades) Social media safety, cyber-bullying, media influence, body image/empowerment, and self-image and value. Middle School students (7-8th grades) Sex Trafficking - Youth presentation High School students Sex Trafficking - High School presentation Adults

Population(s) Served
Students
At-risk youth

How do we, as parents, keep our kids safe in this digital world? Human trafficking is a real problem right in our own backyard. And now with the prevalence of social media, traffickers have a much easier time accessing our children. Yes, your kids are vulnerable to trafficking. The Set Me Free Project’s parent speakers are parents, just like you. We understand how hard it is to be a parent today. We will come to you, wherever you are, to educate and empower you as parents of children of all ages. Set up a parents’ night (or day) with your neighborhood, PTA/PTO, church, school, or anywhere else parents gather. We will teach you practical ways to keep your kids safe on social media and ensure they are not vulnerable to traffickers. It’s not about fear; it’s about empowerment.

Population(s) Served
Families
Parents

The Set Me Free Project offers training in the subject of human trafficking. We offer training for industries and leaders in the community that are interested in becoming educated on the subject of trafficking and on how to spot victims of human trafficking. Medical Communities Truck Stops Pregnancy Centers Educators Security Personnel Social Service Industries

Population(s) Served
General/Unspecified
Emergency responders

Where we work

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

The mission of The Set Me Free Project is to bring prevention education to youth and families so traffickers lose their power. We do that by offering prevention education to help eradicate sex trafficking. We empower youth and young adults by teaching them to value themselves and give them tools to help protect them from the evils of trafficking. <br/><br/>Our vision is to see human trafficking eradicated by providing every child, parent, educator, mentor, professional and community member prevention education. To provide knowledge and tools required to protect and prevent youth from becoming a victim of trafficking. <br/><br/>The Set Me Free Project offers our services at no charge. Our speakers travel to schools, youth groups, and communities to implement interactive presentations designed to deliver critical information and empower our youth by teaching them to value themselves, give them tools to help protect them from the evils of trafficking, as well as make them aware of the potential dangers of social media. Further, we use separate and specific curriculum to educate parents, educators, mentors, service providers, and community members to help keep our youth safe.<br/><br/>Our current goal is to reach as many youth and families as possible. Ultimately to reach every student in Nebraska and Iowa. Our target audience is youth and families; however, this also includes students of all ages, parents (both biological, adoptive, and foster), educators, community members, and social services staff. <br/><br/>The desired objectives were formed based on the realization that every child and young adult in Nebraska and Iowa needs to know that being victimized by a trafficker is a legitimate risk. They also need to know how to keep themselves from becoming victims and avoiding such danger.<br/><br/>We have developed curricula for youth, parents, educators, mentors, and social service agencies. The curriculum for youth and parents emphasizes implementing smart strategies for safe use of social media, understanding the cycle that tricks young people into trafficking, and instilling confidence in youth so they understand their intrinsic dignity and value. The curriculum for educators, mentors, and social service agencies trains staff on what human trafficking is, what it looks like in their own community, and how to identify a victim. <br/><br/>And because it is our own curriculum, we can tailor it to the needs of each group. Our goal with the youth is to be a consistent presence. Since 2014, though educating youth, parents, educators, industries, community members, and media outreach we have touched over 150,000 lives.<br/><br/>Despite the tough nature of the subject matter, we provide the youth a very interactive and fun presentation in which the students walk away empowered and more knowledgeable.

Our strategies are as follows: to reach as many youth and families as possible. Ultimately to reach every student in Nebraska and Iowa. Begin to pursue new schools in each school district. <br/><br/>We will also increase our presence on social media through informational weekly blogs and video blogs to be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Instagram and YouTube.<br/><br/>Our goal is to increase our followers on all social media by increasing our presence, boosting our posts, and going live on social media during parent presentations and community events. We will update all social media pages at least once to twice daily. Increase our marketing plan and provide more effective marketing materials. <br/><br/>We will use our website to tell more stories. Implementing one sheets for each presentation category. Creating a visionary story on our website and in our marketing materials. For example: where The Set Me Free Project will be in 30 years from a current story perspective.<br/><br/>We will utilize our current resources to gain and maintain funding such as, community contacts to increase individual donors, working with our board of directors to increase their fundraising and networking skills and abilities, and working with schools to provide donations. We will increase our individual monthly donor base through our annual fundraiser.<br/><br/>We will expand the skills of our marketing team to reach a larger pool of funding opportunities, making it clear that without immediate support we will no longer be able to provide these desperately needed services.<br/><br/>Continue and expand relationships with schools and community partners by seeking the schools we serve to potentially be a resource and/or support. Finding potential opportunities that the teachers or administrators we serve could help us remain viable and grow as an organization.<br/><br/>We will continue to work with community partners to develop our curriculum, and seek potential resources.

When The Set Me Free Project was made aware of the lack of prevention education in the United States on the subject of sex trafficking, we decided to fill that need.<br/><br/>Although there are many wonderful organizations in our community dedicated to combating trafficking, The Set Me Free Project is unique in our approach and perspective - using interactive, age appropriate curriculum focused on not only defining human trafficking, but also on helping students identify why and how they could be at risk, as well as providing a foundation for all students, regardless of age, to recognize the intrinsic value in every human being. <br/><br/>Our curriculum has been used throughout Nebraska and Iowa, as well as many other school districts and communities. We can facilitate presentations in a classroom setting (preferred) or a group assembly style, and each presentation can be tailored to each school and student. <br/><br/>Our speakers are fully trained and qualified in the areas they speak. We continue to seek trainings so that we can honor our commitment to education. We continue to seek education on the current social media and human trafficking trends, including bullying and trauma. <br/><br/>We continue to send staff members to trainings such as trauma informed care trainings, human trafficking trainings, and social media safety trainings.

We collect data from surveys done before, after, and during each presentation. We are working to collect strong data with a baseline and the ability to see shifts in learning. What we have found is that we are then able to determine whether each population shows a shift in their knowledge of human trafficking, social media safety, and how they are at risk. We also measure the effect of Set Me Free Project by the increase of the school districts and schools in which we are presenting, and how many students, parents, educators, and community members we are presenting to and the hours spent with each. <br/> <br/>With all our presentations, it is our goal to end the lack of awareness, stop any fear, and provide empowerment. The critical need we seek to address is lack of knowledge; knowledge that will help prevent our youth and young adults from being victims of trafficking, as well as knowledge that could help rescue current victims. We desire to answer the effectiveness of prevention education in keeping our youth and young adults from seeing the dark of human trafficking. Clearly, prevention questions are tricky to answer because it relies on the fact that if one is prevented from risky behavior there is no data recorded. However, we do intend to look at the current data in Iowa and Nebraska to see if numbers of missing children and trafficked victims are decreasing. <br/><br/>Based upon self-reported surveys of students who have participated in Set Me Free Project's sex trafficking presentations: 93% of students report overall increased awareness and knowledge regarding sex trafficking, 67% of students report increased awareness regarding social media safety as it relates to sex trafficking, 29% of students report increased awareness of their own value and the value of others as it relates to sex trafficking.

We are in 29 schools currently (although we are in the process of adding more this year).<br/>This is schools only - not youth groups or other youth programs<br/><br/> In 2016 we had a 90% increase over 2015<br/> In 2017 we had a 47% increase over 2016<br/> We have already added 1 new school in 2018<br/> We have maintained 86% retention of all schools<br/> We continue to pursue those we haven't been in for awhile<br/> Total youth Hours - 511.25<br/> Total Youth Presented to - 12,676<br/> Total Parent/Community Hours - 143.75 with 36 venues<br/> Total Parent/Community Member presented to - 5,839<br/> Total Educators/Industry/Staff Hours - 71.50 with 51 venues<br/> Total Educators/Industry/Staff presented to - 1,854

Financials

THE SET ME FREE PROJECT
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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THE SET ME FREE PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 6/26/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Doreanna Smith

Women of Worth

Term: 2017 - 2023

Lindsey Scott

Project Harmony

Jena Bailey

Dino's Storage

Rick Faber

Vistage

Barry Jurgensen

Arlington High School

Stephanie Olson

The Set Me Free Project

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Keywords

Prevention Education, Awareness, Counter-trafficking, youth and families, education