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Roxbury Youthworks provides intensive Life Coaching to victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

The GIFT Program Since 2005, at least 480 children from Suffolk County, MA have been identified as having been victimized by Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The vast majority of these victims (98%) have been girls; and a majority (65%) girls of color. Through a trauma informed intensive Life Coach model, Roxbury Youthwork's GIFT Program (Gaining Independence for Tomorrow) serves 48 girls per year that have been "pimped out" by numerous adults, were arrested for their acts or are at high risk of becoming victims. Each GIFT Life Coach carries a caseload of up to eight girls.

Our girls/young women are between the ages of 12-21 and come from Boston's most impoverished neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale, and Hyde Park. Life Coaches support and guide participants throughout their recovery from commercial sexual exploitation. They provide counseling, crisis intervention, two individual face to face meetings per week, a weekly group, daily contact through texts or by phone, and referrals to the resources they need in order to achieve their life goals. While GIFT is a relatively new program (it started in July 2008), RYI has a significant history of providing services to and advocating for sexually exploited youth. In 1998, RYI founded "A Way Back", the only street outreach program designed to encourage and support young women that wanted to leave "The Life" and end their exploitation.

Watch "What I've Been Through Is Not Who I Am" to learn more about the commercial sexual exploitation of children.


Our GIFT Life Coaches draw upon their own professional, educational, and personal life experiences to develop strong trusting relationships with GIFT girls. They employ a non-judgmental, trauma informed approach that meets youth wherever they are on the continuum of CSE. Our Life Coaches help youth build and sustain positive connections and relationships and are the glue that often holds together the fragile connection between the youth and the vital services they need to heal and succeed in life.