Why are we different?

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It’s not WHAT we do, It’s HOW we do it.

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OUR VISION

“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)

OUR MISSION

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. 

Leadership Team

Heather Goode 
Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Lead Pastor
heather.goode@arukahproject.org

In 2016, after 26 years juggling life as a wife, 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 currently writing a book, enjoys coffee from Coffeetopia, camping, lunch dates with friends, dinner gatherings, and spending time with her husband and three boys. 

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Loreal Weitzel 
Co-Founder, President, and 
Anti-Trafficking Ministry Director 
loreal.weitzel@arukahproject.org

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. 

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Kenny Besk
National Training Director and
Law Enforcement Liaison   kenny@arukahproject.org

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Kenny Besk can best be described as a jack of all trades when it comes to his work to end human trafficking. His 16 year career in law enforcement started as a correctional officer but his talents were quickly recognized as he moved up through the ranks. He has been a patrol deputy, Narcotics Detective, Swat Support Team Member, Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor and is a Recognized Expert in Narcotics. In 2012, while working as a narcotics detective, his eyes were opened to the insidious world of human trafficking. In 2015, Kenny temporarily left law enforcement to work to combat child trafficking and online exploitation in Thailand with Zoe International Foundation. For three years he worked in Thailand as an Investigations and Security Team Manager working on the front lines of human trafficking. In 2018, he and his family returned to the states where he continued his law enforcement career at the District Attorney’s Office as a special investigator with a specialty in Human Trafficking (CSEC) cases. He is a court recognized expert in human trafficking and related crimes and  developed partnerships with numerous sectors, victim service providers and NGO’s to promote collaberation, training and awareness within Santa Cruz County to provide the best care and services for human trafficking victims.

Natasha Herzig
Director of Outreach   

Natasha is known for her advocacy work as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the field of sex trafficking. She 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. 

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Angelo Segretto IV
Social Media and Communications

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.

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Board Members

Lawrence Martinez
Board Member, Mentor,
and Advisor

Lawrence joined our Arukah Team in 2018. He is a passionate follower of Jesus, declaring His gospel in everything he does, everywhere he goes and to everyone he meets, Lord willing. He has a passionate heart to set men and women free from bondage and to see them walk in freedom.  Along with serving with Arukah, Lawrence also serves as the Worship Coordinator for The Point Church and even has his own ministry, called Dunamis Rhema, where he creates music with a reggae and funk influence for all to enjoy. He loves surfing, photography, his family, and music. 

 

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Amber West
Board Member, Vice President, and Advisor

Bio coming soon!

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