Tampa Bay beauty Olivia Butler, Miss Pasco County 2016 survives dating violence and becomes the spokesperson for Girls Empowered Mentally for Success

On Thursday September 22, 2016 at the Children’s Board meeting the organization will be officially presented with the First Prize check to launch the social enterprise. Olivia’s goal is to give victims a voice through speaking engagements, and building support groups amongst schools throughout the community, and standing on behalf of healthy transitions to success. Read more »



Group of human palms on all sides of a cut out house diagram with setting sun coming through window over water

  GEMS Transition Center

Girls Empowered Mentally for Success seeks to create healthy transitions for girls everywhere. The mission of the organization is to engage elementary, middle, and high school girls empowering them to discover their passion and purpose through creativity and wisdom. The GEMS Transition Center will address the needs of girls whose individual and/or family circumstances include risk factors that impede their ability to successfully transition into responsible and productive adults.  The Center will provide a safe living and learning environment for teenage girls who are homeless, pregnant and parenting, high risk, low income and victims of human trafficking .These girls experience low graduation rates, violent behaviors, mental health issues, and interaction with the criminal justice system. They represent a large percentage of high risk behaviors among girls enrolled in Hillsborough County Schools… Read more »




Our Mission is to assist at risk middle and high school girls transition to womanhood.


Teen Pregnancy

• Less than 2% of teen moms finish college by age 30
• The poverty rate for children 18 and under in Hillsborough County is higher than the state of Florida and the nation
• 3 babies are born to teen moms in Hillsborough Country daily
• 40% of teen moms finish high school
• Children of teen moms are twice as likely to enter foster care
• Only 77% of children born to teen moms will receive a high school diploma
• $443 million public spending on teen childbearing in Florida in 2010


Hillsborough County Public Opinion Feedback

• 90% of respondents claim the community should be doing more to prevent teen pregnancy
• 62% of respondents want their school to provide more sexual health education
• 79% of respondents support teaching middle school students how to deal with pressure to have sex
• 95% of respondents support teaching high school students how to deal with pressures to have sex

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Human Trafficking

This topic does not have accurate data to support the numbers.

According to U.S. Federal law, human trafficking is defined as:

  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • The recruitment, harboring, transportation provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.



Human Trafficking statistics of U.S. citizens within the U.S.


Number of American children and youth estimated to be at risk of child sexual exploitation, including commercial sexual exploitation, in 2000.

Source: Estes, Richard J. and Neil A. Weiner. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in
The U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work: 2001.
Study funded by the Department of Justice.


Estimated number of an approximate 1.6 million runaway/thrown away youth at risk of sexual endangerment or exploitation in 1999

Source: U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,
Runaway/Thrown away Children: National Estimates and Characteristics. NISMART Series: 2002.

12-14 years old

Average age of entry into prostitution

Source: Estes, Richard J. and Neil A. Weiner. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in
The U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work: 2001.



Homelessness in the United States

Estimates of the homeless youth exceed 1 million. Estimates of runaway youth—including “thrown away” youth (youth asked to leave their homes)—are between 1 million and 1.7 million in a given year.




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