Find What Fills your Soul with Joy. The Result is Revolutionary.

We first met LONA grantee, Julie, through an incredible nonprofit organization called AnnieCannons. Their mission is to transform human trafficking survivors into software engineers. Participants enroll in a 6-month training program that starts with data literacy and advances through HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Later phases include full stack development, cybersecurity, visual design and more. Graduates of the program can secure sustainable, high-income earning opportunities through AnnieCannons, which sources and manages projects for graduates to earn income and build a portfolio. The AnnieCannons model clearly demonstrates that economic opportunity is vital to breaking the cycle of exploitation, and that anyone with determination should be given a fair chance to prove themselves.

We were immediately compelled to invest in Julie after hearing her story. Julie is a human trafficking survivor and graduate of the AnnieCannons program, but to honor her privacy, we will not provide any personal information beyond this. Though she is resilient, brilliant and strong, her most astounding quality is her selflessness. Despite the obstacles she has faced, she dedicates her life to changing the trajectory for other women who have experienced similar hardships.

While in the AnnieCannons program, Julie developed a web application that guides victims of abuse through the process of filing temporary restraining orders (TROs) in Alameda County. The process for filing a TRO is convoluted, inefficient, and even re-traumatizing. The process can take up to a year, involves multiple court dates, and requires some seemingly ridiculous steps, such as being responsible for finding someone to serve your attacker the TRO in person. Julie’s application would streamline the TRO filing process, opening up the opportunity for many individuals that that have had difficulty understanding the paperwork, where “legalese” language is ubiquitous.

Jessica Hubley, the co-founder of AnnieCannons, says she cannot overstate the impact that this application could have on many women and their families.

“Imagine saving even 50 hours you could be using to look for a job or get back on your feet, as opposed to trying to fix a mistake [on the TRO paperwork] you didn’t even know you were making.”

While this application would have a major impact on victims of abuse, this project has a positive impact on Julie as well. She adds something revolutionary to her portfolio, and creates the opportunity to build a career out of working with human trafficking survivors, which she is so passionate about.

One can imagine the (wo)manpower and time it would take to create such an application and make it come to life. Luckily, Julie and her AnnieCannons classmates did much of the initial work as a class project, allowing Julie to have a solid foundation to build upon after graduation.

Through funding, LONA supports Julie and her team to continue design, development, testing and launch of the application.

We are so honored to be a part of this revolutionary project and Julie’s story. We wholeheartedly believe in Julie’s vision, and look forward to seeing where life takes her. She feels her calling is to work with survivors and tells us, “I know when I have worked closely with survivors, let them open up and feel safe, I have seen a lot of positive outcomes. And that is truly what fills my soul with joy.”

-Amy Gragnolati, LONA Co-founder

To support future grantees like Julie, donate today!

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