Human Trafficking Expert Accepts Position with Missing Persons Organization
Nationally recognized human trafficking expert, Dottie Laster, has accepted the position of Executive Director of Heidi Search Center located in San Antonio, Texas.
According to their website, “Heidi Search Center was established in August, 1990, following the abduction of 11-year-old Heidi Lynn Seeman. She disappeared from her Northeast San Antonio neighborhood on August 4, while walking home from a friend’s house.” The non-profit organization provides community resources and aids law enforcement with search efforts, provides advocacy, and referrals.
Dottie Laster is known nationally for her work in combatting human trafficking. She is also affiliated with the Bernardo Kohler Center where she is accredited to practice immigration law. Laster has been directly involved in the rescue and restoration of hundreds of victims of trafficking and continues to offer her unique training to law enforcement and organizations.
Recently, Laster has taken an active role speaking to youth in schools and colleges across the country, a population targeted by traffickers. Her skills with this population easily translates to the efforts of Heidi Search Center to offer continuing education for youth about grooming tactics and the dangers of being online.
Honoring the Heidi Search Center’s 25th year in operation, Laster is planning several events to bring awareness to parents about the changes in missing persons cases over the past 25 years. With Millennial young adults and Gen Z kids some parents are left with a vacuum of knowledge about how to protect their loved ones or how to find them now that the search area is likely to include the global connections of the world wide web. Laster says, “From August,1990 until today, what started in tragedy continues in hope. We will spend the next year displaying a timeline history of the previous 25 years and unveiling plans for the future.”
One such event happens on August 29, 2015. the Heidi Search Center will host the second annual “Big Steps for Hope 5K Run/Walk” at Los Patios Salado Creek Green Way at 2015 Northeast Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas. Sponsorships are now available and the organization is hoping to reach their goal of $10,000 which will go towards programs to help educate parents and children about online safety and predators, runaway prevention, raise awareness about Human Trafficking in our community, support services for those who still have missing loved ones, and assist in searches of missing persons when requested by law enforcement.
For detailed information about Heidi Search Center refer to their website, HeidiSearchCenter.Com and also visit Dottie Laster’s website, DottieLaster.Com to learn about her background and involvement in combatting human trafficking.
Dottie Laster has spent over 10 years in the effort of the anti-human trafficking movement nationally, and in her home state of Texas. She is the co-founder of the San Antonio, Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the past Administrator of the Orange County, California Human Trafficking Task Force and has successfully written millions in grants to assist children and victims of human trafficking. Laster is the Anti-Trafficking Coordinator with the Bernardo Kohler Center as an accredited representative recognized by the Bureau of Immigration Appeals to practice immigration law under BKC.
Laster is featured in the documentary on sex trafficking in Latin bars and cantinas, The Cantinera, and her direct rescue work is the subject of the MSNBC Documentary, Sex Slaves: Texas Rescue. She is the recipient of several human rights awards and has been featured in numerous publications including recent issues of Texas Monthly, Town Hall, and MORE Magazine.
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