our story

Former foster youth turned filmmaker Meiko Taylor spent 8 years working in a residential facility with at-risk teens who were in foster care or on probation. Meiko found herself sharing her experiences successfully aging out of the foster care system, putting herself through college, and starting her own business: Infinite Films.  She began coaching her clients on ways to do the same. 

 

Founded in 2015, The Power Project was created to continue this coaching through motivational talks and workshops designed for at-risk youth as a way to show them a "light at the end of the tunnel."  The Power Project partnered with community organizations, bringing in popular filmmakers and actors to speak to participants and lead vision board workshops.

 

Based in Los Angeles County, and serving clients nationally, The Power Project seeks to reduce juvenile delinquency and victimization through two distinct programs: 

COMMERCIALLY SEXUALLY EXPLOITED CHILDREN (CSEC)  PREVENTION PROGRAM

Serves school-age youth 6th-12th grade as well as adult learners who work with youth, including Teachers, Administrators, Social Workers, and Parents. It is designed to prevent sexual violence, dating violence, online exploitation, labor trafficking, and sex trafficking of youth. The program will: 1) Increase community awareness about Child Sex Trafficking; 2) Enable youth and adults to recognize the signs of recruitment and trafficking; and 3) Provide safety tips to avoid falling victim to exploitation.

 

YOUTH SUCCESS PROGRAM

Serves school-age youth 9-12th grade. It is designed to help youth identify potential career goals and offers tips on first steps that can be taken to acheive those goals. The program will: 1) Engage youth in dialogue encouraging them to look beyond their current situations and think about their future; 2) Coach youth on setting goals and measuring success;

3) Empower them to take an active role in developing a plan for their life.

 

 

 

Our team

 
Meikohomepage.png

founder

Meiko Taylor

Meiko Taylor spent 8 years working with at-risk teens in foster care and on probation.  After learning some of the youth she worked with had been sex trafficked, Meiko also developed a passion for prevention.  A filmmaker by trade, she created a hip-hop film and prevention training program aimed at educating teens on some of the tactics used by sex traffickers to recruit and ways to keep safe.

 

Her work garnered the attention on a national anti-human trafficking organization and she was tapped to head their Prevention Department. In

just two years, Meiko grew the department from serving just 300 youth to training over 26,000.  

She was inspired to launch The Power Project as a way to further spread a message of hope, overcoming challenges and finding success. Meiko holds a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago as well as a MBA. 

 

 

Jackie Photo_edited.jpg

program director ILlinois

Jackie Pawlan

Jackie first became involved in the fighting against human trafficking while working with youth experiencing homelessness.  A Social Worker by trade, she has spent her professional career serving at-risk youth; specifically, addressing challenges with mental health and transitioning into adulthood.

Jackie’s mission has been to normalize vulnerability through human connection, a language which can translate to both youth and adult learners alike.  Through education, Jackie strives to create safe spaces, safe people, and communicate to youth they are not alone.

Jackie holds a B.A in Sociology, a MSW with a specialization in mental health, and is a licensed social worker in the state of Illinois. Jackie is also finishing her clinical hours to obtain her LCSW.

program director California

Sandy Esparza

Sandy is a servant leader powered by faith, gratitude, and a zest for life. 

 

She is a former foster youth and overcomer of child trafficking, as well as exploitation in the commercial sex industry as a young adult.  The challenges Sandy endured have fueled her passion for being an active and bold vessel in the fight for freedom.  Sandy utilizes her testimony as a bridge to bring awareness of human trafficking to the community. 

 

Sandy is currently pursuing a B.S. in Social Work from Mt. St. Mary's University in Los Angeles, CA. 

SE Photo 9.3.21.jpg