Carissa Phelps

Carissa Phelps

 San Luis Obispo, California, USA
BandComedy

Before Carissa Phelps became an attorney and author, she was first a survivor of domestic minor sex trafficking. She understands first hand the challenges children face after being neglected and sexually exploited. In 2008, her amazing juvy-to-justice story was told in an award winning documentary.

Biography

Before she was an attorney, author and advocate, Carissa Phelps first became a survivor of domestic minor sex trafficking. Carissa understands the challenges children face after being neglected and sexually exploited because she lived them firsthand.
Although Carissa stopped attending school at the age of 12, she ultimately spent over a decade furthering her education. Her credentials include a BA in mathematics summa cum laude from Fresno State, a Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law, and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. In 2010, she was named one of the top 100 inspirational graduates at UCLA Anderson, in a ceremony marking the school’s 75th anniversary.
Carissa’s personal accomplishments, as well as her faith, have given her the courage to expose and respond to domestic minor sex trafficking in the United States. Together with partners around the world, she is part of a global network to connect resources and assist local and international survivors in rebuilding their lives. Carissa mentors young survivors who have experienced sexual exploitation. In addition, she is building a searchable database to connect survivors and their mentors to resources around the world. Her mission is to assist those who wish to prevent and respond to child trafficking.
In 2008, Carissa’s amazing juvy-to-justice story was told in an award winning documentary. Her voice continues to inspire in various films including the journalist project Sex and Money, A National Search for Human Worth. Carissa’s passion has been shared with thousands at conferences, small meeting rooms, and coalitions to end trafficking. While her story inspires and brings hope to a movement that can appear to be frustrating and without a solution, her command of resources, networks, business, and the law supports local efforts to protect and care for children in their community. Her memoir, Escaping Life on the Streets One Helping Hand at a Time, is due out in July 2012.
Carissa currently lives in California and practices employment law.