Ascent 121 is a faith-based agency in Indiana that addresses domestic human trafficking through clinical services, awareness and outreach. We strive to bring survivors to a place of hope, healing and safety. Through partnerships with local law enforcement, other agencies and the faith community, we offer a continuum of care that provides for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of teen survivors.
Ascent 121 is a 501(c)3 and is accredited by the Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Board.
Megan McGuire, MBA
Megan is our Chief Executive Officer who oversees all business operations of Ascent 121. She joined us after a twenty-year corporate career with Herff Jones. With a passion for urban youth, Megan served as Director the Brookside After School Program in Indianapolis. It was her work with urban teens that sparked an interest in serving victims of human trafficking.
Youth ministry is an important part of Megan’s life. Over the last twenty years, she has lead youth groups, high school and middle school small groups, mission trips and retreats. Megan developed the curriculum and leads the Ascent 121 discipleship program.
Successful non-profits provide critical resources to our community. Megan is pleased to serve on the Board of Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis. This group provides grant funding for agencies that serve central Indiana. Megan earned an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and has a certification in Combating Human Trafficking from Ohio State University.
Megan Jessup, MSW, LCSW, CSAYC
Megan is our Chief Operating Officer and co-founder. She is a licensed mental health therapist with more than 15 years of clinical and administrative experience in outpatient and residential treatment settings. She specializes in sexual trauma and has been working with human trafficking survivors since 2009. Megan provides training on human trafficking to numerous organizations including: local colleges and human service agencies, law enforcement, juvenile probation departments, the public defender’s office, child advocates, area judges, and the Department of Child Services. She has also been called to provide expert witness testimony in criminal cases.
Megan is actively involved with the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans (IPATH) Task Force and has served in the brothels in Mumbai, India with Rahab’s Rope. She serves on the Victim Advocate Standards & Certifications Board of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Megan earned her MSW from Indiana University and is certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
Hugh Hanlin, PhD, HSPP, CSAYC
Dr. Hanlin is our staff psychologist. He is a renowned expert in the area of sexual trauma throughout the state of Indiana, with more than 40 years of experience. He has conducted significant research, has published articles, and has presented at national conferences. He has been sought out by many organizations to provide clinical consultation on human trafficking cases. Dr. Hanlin provides clinical supervision and complex trauma training as well as conducts all psychological testing for Ascent 121.
Board of Directors
Megan Jessup, Chief Operating Officer at Ascent 121
Tim Johnson, Controller at Herff Jones
Zac Kester, Executive Director & Managing Attorney at Charitable Allies
Megan McGuire, Chief Executive Officer at Ascent 121
Rebecca Patten-Lemons, Director of Career Development at Ivy Tech Community College
These smiling faces are some of the Impact Program staff at a training event.
Impact Program Team
Impact is a collaborative effort between Ascent 121, Community Health Network & Lutheran Child and Family Services.
Trisha Prickett, MSW, LSW
Alexandra Hershberger, PhD- intern
Alexa Tabb, MA, LSW
Celeste Burcham, MSW
Emily Sabau, MSW, LSW
Ann Reynolds, MAMFT
Amanda Schreier, MSW, LSW
Aiesha Ward, MSW, LCSW
Megan Jessup, MSW, LCSW, CSAYC
Hugh Hanlin, PhD., HSPP, CSAYC
Kendra Belden, LMHC, LCAC
Bill Wischnowski, MSW, LCSW
Alisse Wilburn, MSW, LCSW