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There are a lot of people in the city of New York who are forced into prostitution because they are victims of human trafficking They struggle to find a way out of their situations without becoming ensnared by predators or the police

Maria ran away from home at 17 and found herself homeless in New York. She struggled financially and lived on the streets until her mother, who came to New York soon after, found her.



to dedicate my entire being to improving myself at that precise time, she said. “With this kind of sickness, if you don’t take care of yourself, it eats you alive.”

Ramona, who works full-time to pay for her daughter’s college education, has long been unable to follow her aspirations. She does not, however, think that it is too late for her to change.

Ramona struggled for years to locate accurate information on overturning her felony convictions in New York and New Jersey because of her limited English skills. That involved trying and failing painfully. She and her daughter worked nonstop to hire a private attorney approximately $4,000 until meeting with the Legal Aid Society in 2021.

She started teaching kindergarten in her home country more than 30 years ago, and she now wants to continue this work while standing up for those who haven’t yet emerged from the shadows.

“Many women are serving sentences in prison that they did not deserve. Many women have perished as a result of false information or out of fear, she claimed.

“My life has changed since the cases were dismissed…. Maybe one day I’ll be able to accomplish my original goals.