After watching a documentary about innocent children sold into sexual slavery internationally, Rebecca Jowers was ready to move her entire world to help them. As a wife, a mother of four daughters, and a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, such a move was unrealistic. Nevertheless, a God-inspired passion gripped her heart and would not let go.
Two years of research on the subject of human trafficking revealed a rampant problem here in the United States. In our cities and neighborhoods, human trafficking has no borders, no matter the economics. Rebecca didn’t have to move her entire world; the need was right down the street. With the vision of raising public awareness, reaching and educating the vulnerable, and ultimately opening a safe house, Rebecca created the Poiema Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Poiema imagines a world where sexual abuse and exploitation are not tolerated; where those that have been sexually abused and exploited receive safe housing and long-term trauma-informed care, resulting in restoration as they are loved unconditionally.
We educate the public and raise awareness to prevent sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and other methods of sexual exploitation. We help with the restoration journey of survivors in our safe house by providing for their physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs.
To date, we have educated more than 17,000 people about the dangers of human trafficking. We offer more than seven trainings. Human Trafficking 101 is presented to students, counselors, nurses, doctors, foster parents, staff who work with at risk youth, minors in juvenile detention, staff for juvenile detention centers, law enforcement, churches, rotary clubs, and other organizations.
Engaging the public to be eyes and ears in the community and identifying human trafficking victims is essential to ending this modern-day slavery. We are actively involved in community outreach and public awareness activities to increase victim identification and referral for service. Poiema holds outreaches every Saturday from one of our ten campuses. During outreach, teams of people distribute posters of missing minors to hotels, bus stations, truck stops, first responders, etc., throughout the metroplex. We visit more than 700 locations every month. In partnership with 4 the One Foundation, we have helped recover more than 200 minors. More than half of these children were trafficked or sexually exploited.
Poiema has a Safe House where we provide the long-term support necessary for survivors of human trafficking to overcome their abuse. To date we have helped 23 precious women. The success of our program is greatly dependent on resources provided by volunteers and donors. Opportunities to serve include helping with home maintenance, mentoring, game nights, or teaching one of our many classes, which include exercise, art, nutrition, cooking, and life skills. We provide ongoing fellowship and community to women who leave our home, and we also help girls who are still on the street. To date, we have provided support to 52 survivors.
C7 Human Trafficking Coalition
North Texas Region
North Texas Coalition
Against Human Trafficking
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
North East Texas Alliance
Hunt County, TX
TC 5-Stones Task Force
Tarrant County, TX
Heart of Texas Human
Central Texas Region
Rebecca is the founder and executive director of The Poiema Foundation, a non-profit that fights human trafficking.
Rebecca is the founder and executive director of The Poiema Foundation, a non-profit that fights human trafficking. She is the visionary of the organization’s approach to human trafficking that focuses on:
- Educating communities and raising general awareness about human trafficking.
- Engaging the public to be the eyes and ears in their community to identify at risk youth.
- Empowering survivors of human trafficking through trauma-informed care so they can overcome their abuse and live with freedom and dignity.
Rebecca developed Poiema’s training curriculum and is a key presenter in many of the seminars that have educated more than 15,000 people about the dangers of human trafficking. She also designed Poiema’s community awareness program where every month volunteers take posters of missing children to more than 700 locations throughout various cities. To date, this program has helped with the recovery of 250 missing minors, of which 111 were victims of human trafficking. This volunteer-led program continues to grow and has expanded nationally, operating in three states.
Rebecca was instrumental in the procurement of Poiema’s safe house that has helped more than 60 survivors of human trafficking. She also developed the supporting programs for the safe house that include both operational strategies and approach to long-term, trauma-informed care for survivors’ physical and mental healing.
Rebecca holds a Master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Texas at El Paso. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Educational Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary and also serves as their Assistant Dean of Students and Advisor to Women.
Before establishing The Poiema Foundation, Rebecca taught math and science in both public schools and at the collegiate level. She has been married to her husband, Raymond, for 30 years and they have four grown daughters.
Ellen has recently retired after 32 years in the healthcare industry.
Ellen has recently retired after 32 years in the healthcare industry. As Vice President in National Accounts Client Management, she lead a team working with large employers with planning strategy for their employee benefit plans. In retirement, she plans to focus on education and combatting human trafficking in the DFW area. For the past year, she has been championing the Anti-Human Trafficking team at Bent Tree Bible Church.
Ellen graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Finance/Real Estate. She has two adult children and lives in Carrollton, Texas.
Karen is no stranger to the marketing and advertising world.
Karen is no stranger to the marketing and advertising world. Specializing in customer experience and insights strategy, she has over 25 years of experience related to the analysis, creation, maintenance, governance and measurement of digital content and user experiences for many Fortune 500 companies.
Currently, Karen consults with global and domestic brands helping them to effectively and efficiently connect with their customers through digital channels and devices. Previously, Karen served as Vice President of Content Strategy at iCrossing, A Hearst Company where she established and led their content strategy practice. Karen also serves as an adjunct faculty member of Amberton University where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in Marketing and Social Media & Business.
Not a day goes by that Karen doesn’t learn something new about human trafficking and the complexity of the healing process for the victims. The more she learns, the more passionate she becomes in helping the Poiema Foundation achieve its vision and mission.
Karen has a Ph.D. in information science with an emphasis in human computer interaction from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Arts in biomedical communications from The University of Texas Southwest Medical Center and a Bachelor of Arts in general studies/communications from The University of Texas at Dallas. Karen has also earned a certificate in digital marketing analytics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Aaron Smith received a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Accounting from Southern Methodist University and began his accounting career as a financial statement auditor for KPMG.
Aaron Smith received a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Accounting from Southern Methodist University and began his accounting career as a financial statement auditor for KPMG. After four years as an auditor, Aaron started work for his current employer as a corporate controller for an oil and gas company.
In February 2018, Aaron became an elder at Reach Church in Rockwall. Reach is a small non-denominational, evangelical church, with people passionate about doing life on earth as it is done in heaven. In addition to serving as an elder at Reach, Aaron serves as a gospel community leader and children’s volunteer. Aaron loves Jesus, loves leading people to Jesus.
Aaron has been married for 11 years and has 3 amazing children: Ruthie (passed away at 35 weeks gestation), Levi (4 ½ years old) and Adalee (2 ½ years old).
Bruce has recently retired after serving for 24 years as a Community Pastor at Bent Tree Bible.
Bruce has recently retired after serving for 24 years as a Community Pastor at Bent Tree Bible. Prior to that, he was an executive in the printing paper distribution industry for 23 years. He now serves as a chaplain with Marketplace Ministries and as a facilitator with Primemovers.
He has a passion for discipling men and helping them identify and live out God's special calling for their lives. Educated at Stanford University with a B.A. in political science, Bruce also obtained a Masters degree in Business from the University of Colorado. He and Margaret are blessed to have 2 adult children and 5 grandkids.
Yinka is by profession an attorney with an emphasis on commercial real estate.
Yinka is by profession an attorney with an emphasis on commercial real estate. She has a passion for using her skills to assist others, and was part of the Domestic Violence Clinic while at the University of Texas School of Law. She has also served as a part of the Los Angeles County Bar’s domestic violence legal services program.
Yinka earned her JD from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, her LL.M in Banking and Financial Law from Boston University School of Law and her LL.B from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.