Grantee Update: Ascent 121

The Impact 100 Board held its September meeting at the new facility of Ascent 121, our 2016 Change Maker. Ascent 121 has grown to become one of the largest specialized providers in the country of recovery services for teen survivors of human trafficking. The new building which opened in 2020 features space for therapy, support groups, life skills training, self-defense, therapeutic yoga, art therapy and a large open area filled with activities like swings and games where kids can just be kids. There are also work areas for the agency’s staff and for volunteers. Since the agency began in 2013, Ascent 121 has served over 600 survivors. They recently branched out to begin offering consulting and training services for other agencies across the country that serve survivors of trafficking.

The women of Impact 100 continue to stay engaged with Ascent 121. Their CEO, Megan McGuire, is Co-Chair of the Impact 100 Grants Committee. Kellie Earl Leeper, also a member of Impact 100, has been on their staff for three years. Several other members of Impact 100 have participated as Monthly Ambassadors, served as volunteers and even sponsored rooms in the new facility. Beyond their direct service work, Ascent 121 also provides community awareness presentations. Visit Ascent121.org to request a Lunch & Learn presentation for your business, church group or civic organization or to sign up to volunteer.

The 2016 Change Maker $100,000 Grant was awarded to the IMPACT Program to Curb Runaway and Human Trafficking of Young Girls, a collaboration between Ascent 121 and Lutheran Child & Family Services. The two agencies partner together to host a residential program for teen survivors of trafficking. Their residential program is in its eighth year and is one of only a few specialized residential programs for this population. Further information is available at LutheranFamily.org or Ascent121.org.