top of page

Why are we different?

Arukah_Project_Logo_PNGwhite.png

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

Arukah_Project_Logo_PNGwhite.png

OUR VISION

To do whatever it takes to protect our community, to see victims of human trafficking set free, and to provide them with a safe location where they can heal, feel loved, and create the life they always deserved

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

Loreal Weitzel 
Executive Director &
Co-founder

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 has an MA in Intercultural Studies with a focus on Children at Risk from 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. She is also currently working on her MA in Counseling Psychology to become an LMFT that focuses on trafficking trauma.

Picture2.jpg
Natasha
 

Deputy Executive Director   

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 National Training Director 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. 

Natasha.jpg
Tovah Kolodinski
Sought After Foster Family Agency Social Worker
 
tovah@soughtafterffa.org

12

Tovah.jpeg

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.

Anastasia Nune
Sought After Foster Family Agency Social Worker supervisor
anastasia@soughtafterffa.org

Anastasia will be joining Foster Family Agency as our Social Worker Supervisor. She graduated with her BA in Communications Studies from San Francisco State University and she received her Masters degree in Social Work from San Jose State University. During graduate school she did extensive research on human trafficking as she experienced working with human trafficking survivors at a local group home in Los Angeles. This is where she found her love for social work. Anastasia has been working with children and families for over 15 years in a variety of settings including the educational setting, non-profits, and government agencies. She strives to have a humanistic centered, trauma-informed, and strength-based approach to promote healing and wellbeing when working with children and families. She loves working with people one on one to form connections that promote light, love, and healing, but she also understands that it “takes a village” to help our communities prosper. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, cuddling with her dog Tango, working out, reading, and writing poetry or dabbling in art when she feels inspired.

IMG_3146.png
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.

IMG_2665.heic
Corydon pic.jpg

Bio coming soon!

Corydon Lindner

Social Media and Communications

Board Members

Bio coming soon!

Clock
New board member announcement

coming soon!
JG pic.jpg
John Grady
EMS Director, CAPCE Education Board Member, and Advisor

Bio coming soon!

  • Instagram
  • Facebook

FOLLOW US

Join Our Newsletter!

bottom of page