SheShinesOn … Latiana Appleberry, My Life My Choice


Mentor and Group Facilitator for MLMC for 4 years

Grew up in Boston

Currently reading “Random Families”

Last vacationed in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Works with commercially sexually exploited girls to help them recover, build trusting relationships, and find positive support outside the industry

She “Meets the girls where they are at”, helps them to become leaders in their communities and advocate for themselves

Q: What has surprised you most since starting your work with MLMC?

A: The great resiliency that these girls display. They have been through some of the most horrific things and yet they still stand strong and willing to be better young women. They still strive for more and still engage with the mentors at MLMC. Also that I would still love my job so much, and that as a survivor my opinion is held with such great importance.

Q: What has been the hardest part about being a survivor mentor?

A: The fact that girls are still being exploited. Although I am a survivor, it still hurts my heart that sex trafficking still exists at this extreme and seems to be worse than when I was being exploited.

Q: What did you have to learn to do in order to be able to do your job?

A:  I’ve learned that the girls are victims and it’s not their fault. The johns and pimps are the criminals. I had to learn that everybody has ways to cope (drug use, anger etc.) and that doesn’t make the girl a bad person; but a survivor.

Q: What’s the best experience that you’ve had as a mentor?

A Last year, when one of my girls was reunited with her family on my birthday. She was on the run and exploited for the previous 6 months. It was the greatest gift ever!

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SheGives connects committed, inquisitive, engaged donors with a slate of diligenced nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. We provide members with relevant data about the nonprofits in our portfolio and an opportunity to meet directly with our nonprofits’ Executive Directors and senior staff in small settings that promote in-depth q&a’s and, ultimately, informed giving. Giving is personally driven, but because we give side-by-side our collective impact is greater. See a list of the vetted nonprofits selected for our slate here.

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