When Julie Chapus answered her phone, she was unaware that the distraught young woman on the other end would be her first contact with a pervasive human rights issue happening in Rochester — human trafficking.
“Miss Julie’s School of Beauty” is a new outreach for victims of human trafficking. The innovative program provides cosmetology training to empower survivors. The training helps those in the Rochester area and also draws survivors from many other areas.
When a trafficking victim has spent time on the street, they will likely be arrested for the very situation they have been forced into. Even if escape becomes possible, afterward – left with a criminal record – they experience extreme difficulty finding a job that pays a living wage. The school helps one’s past not prevent a beautiful future. Acting on that conviction, we provide survivors and those at risk with an opportunity to earn a cosmetology license and enter into a rewarding career, at no cost to them. Because an state-granted cosmetology license removes the necessity of a background check, graduates are free to pursue an independent living without the necessity of explaining a traumatic history.