Streetlight USA graduates first class - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Streetlight USA graduates first class

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

When you think of little kids, you probably imagine them swinging on a swing set or playing with friends, not walking the streets of a major city, selling their bodies for sex.

"It was kind of getting hard on the streets so I met somebody and that's when I started prostituting," said Tatianna.

Those words are hard enough to hear coming from a grown woman, let alone a young girl.  Tatianna started prostituting when she was just 16 years old.

"One day I just got caught up and got arrested and they sent me back to Arizona where most of my family resides and they sent me to Streetlight," she said.

Streetlight USA is a nonprofit aimed at stopping child prostitution. The organization helps girls between 11 and 18 years old escape the streets and start their lives.

"I am 16 years young and I've been here for seven months," said Renee.

Renee and Tatianna just graduated from Streetlight's program. They said they both know how crucial it was to saving their lives.  CBS 5 News chose not to reveal their full names because of what they've been through.

"If I didn't do it sooner I was going to be six feet under the ground and I didn't want to live my life that way anymore," Renee said.

"I would probably still be on the street prostituting. I probably wouldn't be alive, honestly," said Tatianna.

Now the girls can look toward the future.

"I'm going to go to college," Renee said.

"January is when I start college and I'm going to double major in business and psychology," Tatianna said.

Both teens are examples of what can be, taking girls off the streets and out of the terrifying world of child sex trafficking and putting them on track for the future every little girl deserves. It's a future filled with hope and dreams.

"I could prove my family members that they're wrong. That I'm a better person," Renee said.

It's a future that allows them to inspire others.

"You have to go through struggles to get your accomplishments. There can't be a rainbow without rain," Tatianna said.

Streetlight USA is funded completely by donations. If you'd like to help click here.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

    Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:32:46 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 11:46 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:46:02 GMT
    (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...(Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>
  • Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:22:51 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 11:45 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:45:15 GMT
    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>
  • Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 11:44 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:44:31 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly