January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Las Vegas, Nevada – Clark County Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. has received a charitable donation of $25,000 from the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Foundation to continue to combat the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).
The YAP Clark County team accepted the award this month during PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2022 Conference at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas. Convening Leaders is PCMA’s signature event which brings together top business events professionals from around the globe to learn and connect, bringing value back to the organizations and constituents they serve. The recognition coincides with National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
“The PCMA Foundation is proud to support the great work being done by Youth Advocate Programs in Clark County. This gift represents a portion of the proceeds from our Party With a Purpose event. Through the support of our sponsors and attendees, we’re delighted to be able to give back to the Las Vegas community in such an impactful way. The fight to end human trafficking is a cause that is important to PCMA and we’re happy to be able to support YAP’s programs that aid these individuals in finding a brighter future,” said Meredith Rollins, Chief Community Officer, PCMA and Executive Director, PCMA Foundation.
A national nonprofit in 32 states and the District of Columbia, YAP’s services are community-based alternatives to youth incarceration, out-of-home congregate care, behavioral health facilities, and neighborhood violence. In Clark County, YAP’s programs include youth justice, Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA) services and its CSEC program. YAP’s trauma-informed services are for males and females, with special gender and LGBTQ-specific programs.
“Youth Advocate Programs, better known as ‘YAP,’ is a strong supporter of the anti-human trafficking movement and a safe place for so many young people who have been sexually exploited,” said Nyeri Richards, YAP’s Southwest Regional Director. “These children are our future leaders whose livelihoods should be invested in.”
Richards, who started at YAP as an Advocate, is passionate about helping sexually exploited children. In June 2020, the Arizona State University Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research team identified 922 child victims in Las Vegas from an eight-year study. Of those victims, 551 children originated from Nevada, 902 were female, 65% were African American, 28% were prior victims, and the average age was 16.
“YAP stands as a pillar of hope, non-judgement and an open door as they walk their path to a brighter future and healthy adulthood,” Richards added. “This work is important because we’re helping victims become survivors.”
YAP’s program staff connect program participants to accessible tools and resources to help them receive the individualized services they need to stay safe and achieve their goals. YAP helps young people who have multiple physical and mental health needs and connects them to a range of healthcare and other service providers. Many program participants have also experienced severe trauma and require intensive therapy.
About PCMA Foundation: The role of the Foundation of PCMA is to support the mission of PCMA through fundraising and grant-giving focused on scholarships, education and research that will advance the business events industry. Annually the Foundation funds over $900K in impact, and since 1985 has funded over 2,500 scholarships, 100 research studies and education programs, and $2.7M in charitable giving.