Why are we different?
It’s not WHAT we do, It’s HOW we do it.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives”
Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18)
To Restore, Renew and Rebuild the lives of survivors of sex trafficking in Santa Cruz County and Beyond. Our integrated approach engages and empowers the local church, businesses, government agencies, and community stakeholders to collaborate to bring wholeness and freedom.
You see when a victim is either rescued or escapes her trafficker, not only is she traumatized on every level, she, in one moment loses her home, job, phone, transportation, safety, provision and everything else. Without resources to support her effectively, chances are very high that she, unable to survive on her own, will return to her trafficker. She doesn’t just need one thing, she needs EVERYTHING, and all at once.
The weight of restoration is too difficult for one person or one organization, but instead requires a community. A community where each person or institution takes its role and works together to promote stability and create an environment for healing to take place. Arukah Project is continuously working not only to provide these necessary services, but to establish a network of individuals and agencies and organizations that can address the needs of our clients. We must include all sectors including churches, social services, law enforcement, businesses, non profits, education, medical professionals, therapists and community organizations to be effective.
Our solutions are based in building a Transformational Culture that accomplishes more than any of us could do on our own.
Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Lead Pastor
In 2016, after 26 years juggling life as a mother, business owner, real estate developer, church leader, teacher and mentor, Heather left a successful career to focus on her lifelong calling to become an ordained minister with a passion to help women discover their identity, purpose, calling, connection and influence. Heather became an ordained Pastor in 2018 and along with speaking engagements, one on one mentoring, international missions and pastoral leadership, Heather is the author of "The Audacious Woman - Living Life Undaunted, Authentic, and Courageous", enjoys coffee from Coffeetopia, camping, lunch dates with friends, dinner gatherings, and spending time with her three amazing so.
Co-Founder, President, and
Anti-Trafficking Ministry Director
Loreal graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Santa Cruz in 2013. She found her true calling in 2015 when she took a mission trip to YWAM in Perth, Australia where she worked toward the prevention, release and care of those enslaved in sex trafficking. Loreal returned from Australia with a resolve to rescue, restore and reintegrate survivors here in Santa Cruz. Along with having worked as an Early Intervention Behavioral Specialist and traveling on international missions and pastoral leadership, Loreal is a Certified Human Trafficking Case Manager in California and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Intercultural Studies with a focus on Children at Risk at Fuller Seminary. She enjoys hikes, playing with her Golden Retriever, Kaya, cats, Lily and Tucker, reading, and spending time with her husband, daughter, friends and family.
Sought After Foster Family Agency Social Worker
Tovah is a wife and mom of two children. Her family resides in beautiful Santa Cruz, California. She is a Social Worker with over 15+ years of experience working with children, families, and individuals in a variety of settings. She helps restore, renew, and rebuild the lives of survivors of sex trafficking. Her approach is to offer a safe, non-judgmental place to release shame and trauma as obstacles to personal freedom, and to discover new pathways to deepen and strengthen the inner self. Social Work has been at the core of Tovah's identity. Holding space for people to empower themselves and create change in their lives is truly a calling and a privilege. She believes every person has the right to a nonviolent life. Filled with respect, justice, personal power, dignity, prosperity, love, and hope. Today you can do more than just survive. You can thrive. Tovah loves working with people one-on-one, to help them see that the light within is the strongest force, and that they are not alone. Helping survivors find their voice and their inner strength, fills her heart. Every day is an opportunity to make the world a better place. Tovah holds a Master's Degree in Human Development with a specialization in Social Change from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California.
Director of Outreach
Natasha speaks throughout the country to bring attention to the epidemic that the United States is facing, conducts trainings for law enforcement agencies and district attorneys’ offices to help identify victims and establish a case, and speaks at schools and universities, educating the public about the dangers of falling victim to such. She is nationally recognized for her work in bringing awareness of sex trafficking to the forefront. Natasha is all too familiar with the fight, as she is a sex trafficking survivor herself. She fought tirelessly and bravely to put her trafficker away for 174 years. Her story has been featured on the popular TV show America’s Most Wanted and she has appeared on national media shows as a trafficking expert. Natasha fearlessly testified on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., lobbying U.S. Senators to help pass the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support act. She holds a B.S. in Justice Studies and a Minor in Public Administration. She successfully built, owned, and operated multiple businesses before selling them to relocate with her family. She is currently the Director of Outreach for the faith- based nonprofit Arukah Project and a consultant with federal and local agencies aiding in the rescue and recovery of victims through special operations.
Angelo Segretto IV
IT Support, Marketing Support, Video and Photography
Angelo joined our Arukah Team in June 2021. He is a Cabrillo College student working towards his degree in Business and Computer Science. He is also an avid athlete who enjoys being in the outdoors. He has coached young athletes and has served at The Point - A Jesus Community in their worship department. He has skills in social media, communications, web design, graphic design, and sound. In his spare time he loves hiking, spending time with his girlfriend, practicing survival skills, making music, and spending time with his family.
Bio coming soon!
Social Media and Communications
Vice President, Board Member, and Advisor
Chris began volunteering with Arukah in 2020 and joined the Arukah Board in 2023. He is an ordained minister and has been involved with inner healing ministry for 27 years. He and his wife Jenie are passionate about fulfilling the call in Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Chris works for DaVita Dialysis and trains Facility Administrators throughout northern California and Southern Oregon. Chris enjoys spending time with family, playing games (he’s fiercely competitive!) and cooking!
EMS Director, CAPCE Education Board Member, and Advisor
Bio coming soon!