Timeka Walker - Executive Director
Before joining UAHT, Timeka served at Neighborhood Centers-Ripley House for 6 years and AIDS Foundation Houston for 10 years as a Program Director, Sr. Director of Programs and Chief Operating Officer. Timeka is a Licensed Master Social Worker and holds an Executive Leadership Certification from Rice University.
Timeka is passionate about human rights issues and believes in the dignity and worth of every human being. She is committed to unifying the Houston community in our efforts to combat human trafficking.
Director of Education
Misa Nguyen - Director of Education
During her time at the University of Texas, Ms. Nguyen was exposed to the social injustice of human trafficking and participated in faith-based initiatives to spread awareness of this growing crime. After graduating from the university, she entered the non-profit sector and engaged with the issue through the co-founding of a Houston chapter of the international Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA) to spread awareness and support the overseas efforts to combat labor trafficking in Asia.
A native Houstonian, Ms. Nguyen came to UAHT in 2010 from Boat People SOS-Houston, bringing her enthusiasm for working with diverse communities in our city. She is passionate about local food eateries, recycling, and social justice issues. Ms. Nguyen is dedicated to education and knowledge to empower others in the anti-human trafficking movement.
Director of Programs
Jenna Cooper - Director of Programs
Prior to joining UAHT, Jenna was the Project Coordinator for Youth Count 2.0, an innovative pilot study to learn more about how to find, count, and survey homeless youth and the specific situations and behaviors of youth that could assist with service planning. Jenna received her Master of Social Work degree with a specialization in political social work from the University Of Houston Graduate College Of Social Work in May of 2014. She has experience working with human trafficking survivors, as well as advocating for policy change on a local, national, and international level. She is passionate about raising awareness through education and empower the community to take action in the fight against human trafficking.
Quin'Tara Spencer - Youth Coordinator
Quin’Tara serves UAHT as Youth Coordinator. Her primary role is to organize and implement specific youth focused programing in schools, criminal justice system and child welfare systems. In addition to facilitating awareness and prevention programs, Quin’Tara also provides direct outreach to multiple at-risk populations, including unaccompanied and homeless youth, undocumented immigrants, and victims of exploitation and abuse.
Prior to becoming UAHT’s Youth coordinator, Quin’Tara joined the team in April of 2017 as an Outreach Specialist. During the time, she developed a donation program and built partnerships with several organizations including, Change Happens, Loaves and Fishes, and Montrose Street Reach.
Quin’Tara received her Master’s in Social Work, in 2016 she also obtained a specialization in Behavioral Health from the University of Houston. In 2014 she received Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Prairie View A&M University. She has prior experience in facilitating and providing supportive counseling to youth while working with, Behavioral Response Team of Pasadena ISD. Her goal and passion is to influence youth and help make a difference in their lives through education and awareness.
Lead Community Education Specialist
Kaylen Runyan - Lead Community Education Specialist
Kaylen joined UAHT in August 2017 subsequent to graduating with her Masters in Communication from Abilene Christian University. Kaylen’s time in academia focused specifically on the direct correlation between trauma and trafficking, identifying the necessity for trauma-informed training implemented by anti-trafficking organizations.
Kaylen has been involved in the anti-trafficking nonprofit sector since 2013, where she has gained experience working directly with victims of human trafficking at both Redeemed Ministries and The Landing. Her fervor for justice is rooted in displaying light and truth surrounding a heinous reality of injustice, and is dedicated to actively working to fight against trafficking.
Aside from her passion for societal justness, Kaylen is keen on coffee consumption and rock climbing.
Eleanor Pollo- Outreach Specialist
Eleanor joined the UAHT team in February 2018. As an Outreach Specialist, she works to identify victims of human trafficking through various outreach activities and community events, to connect them with service providers. She graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA in 2014, and has been involved in the nonprofit sector since. Prior to UAHT, Eleanor was the coordinator for Literacy Advance, a local adult literacy organization. While in school, Eleanor did street outreach for the homeless and youth populations of Olympia, delivering food and supplies by bicycle. Eleanor hopes to make a difference by helping victims of trafficking restore their freedom.
Outreach Worker- Outreach Worker
Brendella joined the UAHT team in April 2018. As an Outreach Assistant, she is responsible for conducting direct outreach to vulnerable and at-risk populations, including potential victims of human trafficking. She will complete her educational studies with a BSW in July of 2018 from the University of Houston-Downtown. Prior to UAHT, Brendella worked for the Houston Independence School District as an Office Support team member. Since 2010, Brendella has worked to make a difference within her community and surrounding areas and has been involved with such projects as Taking it to the Streets (working with the homeless population), Bridging the Gap (Mentorship program of at risk youth), and Angel Care (Senior support). Brendella’s desire is to invoke change and make a substantial difference in lives of those she encounters.
Stephanie Hernandez - Administrative Assistant
Community Engagement Coordinator
Jessica Kim - Community Engagement Coordinator
Jessica is originally from Upper Marlboro, Maryland outside of Washington D.C. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring the city, and traveling. She is passionate about ending human trafficking by connecting our community with meaningful volunteer opportunities and initiatives.
Stephanie Gutierrez - Educational Specialist
Stephanie has been involved in the nonprofit sector since 2012. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Spanish from the University of Houston – Downtown. She pursued a career in investigations through the Department of Family Protective Services working as a special investigator for child fatalities, sexual abuse and neglect investigations within Child Care Licensing . Subsequently, she worked directly with victims of child sexual abuse at The Children’s Assessment Center and facilitated trainings to professionals, parents, schools and faith based organizations on recognizing and reporting child sexual abuse.
Originally from Mexico City, Stephanie is a first-generation Houstonian. Her ability to dominate two languages has allowed Stephanie to connect with the struggles and diverse cultures of the Spanish speaking community. She hopes her call to service and compassion for combating these prevalent issues will help produce a more informed and empowered generation.
Nathaniel Arneson - Community Liaison
Nathaniel joined UAHT in April 2018, moving from Minnesota to Texas. Nate will support the coordination of the Houston Rescue & Restore Coalition, expand Community Engagement Initiatives, support outreach events, and implement demand-reduction programs.
Prior to joining UAHT, Nate was a District Healthy Schools Coordinator for Peace Corps. He worked primarily to strengthen inter-institutional communication to create sustainable partnerships that could reduce poverty and increase the access to vital resources such as food, water, and education in rural schools and communities located in Guatemala.
Nate received his B.A. in Biology with an emphasis in health and medical services from the University of Minnesota – Moorhead in 2013. Nate believes in the power and strength that comes from building local, state, and nationwide partnerships to end human trafficking. Nate is also passionate about the culture of food, ending poverty, and creating opportunities for growth.