Celebrating 10 Years of Ascent 121

As we wrap up 2023, we look back in awe of what God has done through this agency. We look forward with hope for all that He is going to do. Join us in celebrating the highlights of our journey.

In 2013, Ascent 121 was established as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our calling was clear and the effort to serve survivors of trafficking had just begun.

In 2014, we started the Impact Program partnering with Lutheran Child & Family Services and Community Health Network to offer residential care for teen survivors. The Impact Program continues to be an effective residential option for teens that includes therapeutic care, medical care, education, activities, and equine therapy.

In 2015, we began our Home-based Therapy Services. This is our largest program, serving about two-thirds of the clients we serve. Survivors are usually referred to us by the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (ITVAP). Therapists visit these kids and their families as often each week as needed, for as long as the family needs our support.

In 2016, we hosted our very first Build Beyond Conference to help clinicians care more effectively for survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Build Beyond has trained hundreds of service providers on clinical treatment practices for trauma recovery.

In 2017, we were honored and humbled to receive the U.S. Department of Justice FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. Every year the FBI presents this award to one person or organization in each state that has made extraordinary contributions to education and the prevention of crime and violence in their communities. Strong relationships with local and federal law enforcement continue to be crucial to our work. The Ascent 121 team works hard to manage the delicate balance of community and law enforcement needs. The FBI is a strong ally in serving the kids in our program, and we continue to be grateful for their partnership.

In 2018, we began offering Home-based Case Management. Our case managers provide each individual and their family a unique case plan that connects them with community resources while simultaneously developing the practical skills necessary to achieve their goals. Case management activities are intrinsically motivated and may include, but are not limited to advocacy opportunities, exploring individual interests and talents, spiritual development, educational advancement, job-training, and financial literacy. This kind of support is often continued even when survivors are back living independently in the community.

In 2019, we began our research efforts in partnership with the University of Indianapolis. Since then, we have participated in several academic research studies that have evaluated the fidelity and outcomes of the programs offered by our agency. These efforts have helped us in the development of clinical resources.

Thanks to the generosity of Frank and Linda Reich’s foundation, in 2020 our Therapeutic Recovery Center was opened on the far east side of Indianapolis. This space allows survivor services to happen in a trauma-informed environment that suits their complex needs. Take the tour here.

In 2020, our LIFT program began. LIFT provides training and consulting for other agencies, clinicians and other service providers that are serving survivors of trafficking. It is our goal to elevate the quality of care for survivors across the state and country by serving other service providers.

In 2023, we released multiple resources for other service providers serving survivors of trafficking. After being in development for 10 years, Ascent 121 announced the national marketing release of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation Needs Instrument (CSENI) – 4th Edition. The CSENI is a structured, clinical decision-making tool for youth engaging in elopement and experiencing or at significant risk of commercial sexual exploitation. The same year, we released a support group curriculum. Ascent 121’s Reclaiming the Me I was Meant to Be is a 15-chapter curriculum designed to process trauma related to the experiences of commercial sexual exploitation. We are honored to support survivors and those that serve them through these resources.

Through every chapter, our agency has strived to be survivor-engaged, survivor-lead, and survivor-informed. Together with our donors, partners, and volunteers, we have served hundreds of kids and families. Our hearts are full of gratitude and hope as we prepare for the next season of Ascent 121 and continue our dedication to trauma recovery for survivors of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

To celebrate, we invite you to take your next step of involvement with us.

  • Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities here
  • Be a part of the mission by Donating here
  • Raise Awareness about human trafficking here
  • Join us for an upcoming Prayer Journey by registering here

Thank you for making it all possible!