WE ARE HIRING!
Should you apply or not?
Free the Captives is on a huge growth track, and we are looking to greatly expand our team. Houston is one of the top cities in the US for sex trafficking. The average of a girl being trafficked is between 12 to 14 years old.
- Do you want to fight one of the most horrible epidemics that plagues Houston?
- Do you want to forever impact the life of a teenaged trafficking victim?
- Do you have what it takes to join Free the Captives’ team?
We need committed, hard working individuals who want to make a long term difference in the lives of Free the Captives’ teen sex trafficking victims. As executive director, the following letter is what I wish I could tell all potential applicants in person. It gives you a realistic picture of who we are looking for and what it takes to be successful at Free the Captives. Please read it thoroughly before you apply. Open positions are listed below.
So who are we looking for?
Previous Volunteer or Intern Experience: First priority goes to people who have held internships at Free the Captives or who have volunteered extensively at multiple events. This allows us to get to know you pretty well. So if you have not attended any volunteer meetings or helped at our numerous events, get involved today. We also accept interns all year long.
Long term: Free the Captives’ teen trafficking victims have been let down by numerous people in their young lives. Many have experienced abandonment, neglect and abuse from infancy. They have attachment issues. Everyone they have ever trusted has let them down. We are trying to break that pattern in their lives. We are looking people who can commit for the long-term. If you have not held a job for more than two or three years, we are not the organization for you. We need people who want to stay with Free the Captives for the next five years or more. When our girls get attached to you, and you leave, you are damaging their healing and setting them back tremendously.
Financial stability: We are a non-profit ministry. We pay competitively, and all job positions list a salary range. But still, we pay what non-profits pay. Please do not apply if you are taking a $5,000 or $20,000 pay cut from your current position. (Yes, this has happened.) You will not be able to sustain your life style, and you will not be happy. It doesn’t matter how passionate you are. Passion doesn’t pay the bills. Be realistic when it comes to your budget. Also, do you have credit card debt? School debt is manageable and can be forgiven. Credit card debt cannot. Do not apply if you have a lot of credit card debt or have difficulty staying within a budget. Lastly, do you own a car, and is it reliable? In order to provide a high level of service to our girls, we have to drive to them, and they live all over Houston. So it is an important requirement that you have access to a highly reliable car all the time.
Mentally and Physically Healthy: Working in the anti-trafficking field is mentally and physically demanding. We are dealing with very difficult issues. You need to be healthy, both emotionally and physically. Have you experienced sexual abuse or domestic violence? Do you struggle with depression? Have you dealt with past issues? People who have gone through difficult experiences are able to truly impact our girls because they can empathize. But if you have NOT successfully dealt with these issues, then you should not apply. You have to take care of yourself first, and deal with your own demons before you can help anyone else. People who have not healed from their own abuse will do more damage to our trafficked girls instead of good.
Are you in good shape? Do you work out regularly on a weekly basis? Physical health is so important that we offer an incentive for all staff to have a membership at Orange Theory Fitness. Being healthy will enable you to do your best in stressful situations.
Responsive and Detail Oriented: We are looking for people who can multi-task without making mistakes, pay attention to details and have strong written skills. Proper grammar is important. In this day and age of texting, commas and apostrophes seem to have fallen by the wayside. (Hint: always sign your cover letter, even if you are emailing it.) We need people who are quick but accurate and competent. Free the Captives is a very fast paced work environment. We have a limited amount of time to show these girls that we really care so every minute counts!
Hard working: Again, we are a small nonprofit. And in a small non-profit, everyone does everything – from cleaning toilets to working with HPD to rescue girls. The hours at Free the Captives can be long. We are fighting sex trafficking. Sex trafficking doesn’t happen between the hours of 9 and 5. You may have to meet with a girl at 9:30pm because of an emergency. You may have to drive to the bad parts of Houston. We work on weekends and some week nights. Be prepared to work hard.
And be prepared to make a difference.
Think of Free the Captives as the law firms of nonprofits. (Maybe that is because I have been trained as a lawyer.) Law firms expect a lot from their employees; they work long hours. They have to be highly competent. They have to pay attention to detail. Work can be grueling. But we are still a nonprofit and a ministry. I want people who have the heart and right motivations in serving our teen trafficking victims. You will not be making the money that lawyers do so your reward needs to be knowing that you are making a difference in the life of a girl who has seen the worst of humanity and has survived some of the most horrific abuse known to man. When you are hauling the umpteenth box of candles to an event or waiting at the DMV with a girl for the past five hours or doing another mundane task, you have to realize that your actions ensure that one teen trafficking survivor is having a chance at a better life because you are willing to do the less glamorous work.
High Expectations for Highly Competent People: I expect the best from people. All of Free the Captives’ staff and volunteers are held to a high standard. Why? Because Free the Captives’ girls deserve the BEST. They have been let down their entire lives. We have the opportunity to change that.
How do you restore the self esteem and confidence of a girl who has been called a “whore” or “slut” since she was 12 years old?
- By giving her our best.
- By being in it for the long haul.
- By going the extra mile for her.
Don’t apply if you can’t do those three things. Too much is at stake.
I want to hire highly competent people who are not afraid of hard work. This is not a place for people whose feelings get hurt easily or need hand holding or currently have a lot of personal issues. I want to hire people who are self starters, know how to take initiative, and will do what it takes to get the job done (even on the weekends).
So now you know what it takes to be successful at Free the Captives. I expect a lot. And so should you. If you put in the hard work for the long term, you will see:
- Young girls growing into successful young ladies
- Who heal physically and emotionally
- Who go to college
- Who get jobs and become financially stable
- Who see themselves in a whole new light
- Lives changed
- But none of this happens overnight. We have worked with many of our girls for four or more years. We have seen them grow into young adults who have overcome so much.
- We have seen them laugh, find their self worth, and become independent, healthy young ladies.
After reading this letter and having the proper expectations, if you feel like you’d be a good fit, please apply. Please make sure that you include all the required components. I look forward to reading your application!
Julie Waters, JD
Executive Director and Founder
FOR CURRENT OPEN POSITIONS: CLICK HERE