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 Donor Engagement
Elaine Andino - Director of Donor Engagement
Elaine Andino serves as the Director of Donor Engagement at United Against Human Trafficking. Ms. Andino builds relationships with current and potential donors to help create a financially thriving organization. This includes managing relationships with Major Donors, Sustaining Donors, Corporations, Foundations and Volunteers. Elaine also oversees the communications and marketing arm of the organization.
Elaine has over ten years’ experience in fundraising and communications, serving at organizations such as Young America’s Foundation, 1st Step ProWellness, Recipe for Success and the Houston Arts Alliance.
Obtaining her English degree from Baylor University and Masters in Public Policy from George Mason University, Elaine focused a large portion of her graduate work on human trafficking. This included an independent study on human trafficking in Asia while Ms. Andino lived in South Korea, and worked alongside victims and survivors of trafficking.
Elaine is dedicated to ending human trafficking and exploitation in Houston and beyond.
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.
Director of Administration and Operations
Tara Converse - Director of Administration and Operations
Tara joined the team in October 2018 as the Director of Administration and Operations. She oversees the overall administration and operations of the agency, developing and implementing enhanced systems and infrastructure to support overall functions of the agency.
A native Houstonian, Tara received a BA in English at Sam Houston State University and studied Liberal Arts at St. John’s Graduate School at both Santa Fe, NM, and Annapolis, MD, campuses. She has six years supporting and advancing operational systems and process in administrative and managerial roles, serving the YMCA of Greater Providence, YMCA of Greater Houston, and Recipe for Success Foundation.
Tara is passionate about supporting the overarching goals of organizations that strive to eradicate socioeconomic barriers and fight for justice and equal opportunity.
Lead Education & Outreach Specialist
Kaylen Runyan -Lead Education & Outreach 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.
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.
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.
Nate 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.
Au'Vonnie Alexander - Youth Specialist
Over the last fifteen years’, Au’Vonnie has worked and volunteered with many organizations in different capacities surrounding youth and young adults such as; Stand Up for Kids, Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, Tent City and more.
Prior to joining UAHT, Au’Vonnie worked at Covenant House Texas serving at-risk and homeless youth.
Originally from Oakland California, Au’Vonnie holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Fresno State University and is currently attaining her master’s degree in Sociology from Texas Southern University.
She is currently a Big for Big Brother’s Big Sister, a member of Alpha Kappa Delta Academic Sociology Honor Society and HAULYP. (Houston Area Urban League Young professionals)
Au’Vonnie’s passion has always been to motivate, inspire and uplift youth in whatever way she can. Her goal is to educate the surrounding communities regarding Sex Trafficking and help get as many youth and young adults off of the streets. She is passionate about working with youth and helping them gain opportunities outside of their prospective environments. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading and journaling.
Sarah Koransky - Education Specialist
Sarah joined the UAHT team in September 2018. As an Education Specialist, she is primarily responsible for delivering trainings for frontline professionals, including law enforcement, first responders, and healthcare professionals. Additionally, Sarah is supports UAHT’s Community Engagement Initiatives and outreach events.
Prior to joining UAHT, Sarah worked as a Secondary Education English Teacher with Peace Corps in Comoros. There, she was tasked with the furthering the mission of the newly formed program while creating and facilitating opportunities for English education in the rural village in which she worked.
Sarah received her B.A. in International Affairs with a minor in Humanitarian Affairs from James Madison University, and her Master of Science in International Development from the University of Edinburgh. Sarah’s graduate school dissertation researched the limitations of the anti-trafficking movement in sub-Saharan Africa. Sarah is passionate about the fight to end human trafficking and believes that the first step to reaching this goal is education and awareness.
Stephanie Hernandez - Administrative Assistant
She graduated with a B.A. of International Studies. As a student, she conducted research on human trafficking, and raised awareness of this global injustice as a student leader in her campus community. Her diverse non-profit experience includes content writing and editing. She has volunteered for local anti-trafficking organizations, and is a volunteer advocate and digital ambassador for international policy issues, that aim to end inequality in our world. Stephanie is a native Houstonian who loves to explore Houston’s running trails, finding new coffee shops, and writing science fiction stories in her free time.
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.