Carissa Phelps, Runaway Girl, Inc.’s founder and CEO, strives for social impact. She is a licensed attorney, author, trainer, consultant and small business owner. Carissa’s fearless leadership in the survivor community has led to an increased level of awareness among communities, as well as improved legislation and responses to human trafficking victims, especially children. In 2012, Carissa, founded Runaway Girl, Inc., a training company that offers survivor-led experiential trainings to individuals and communities. Runaway Girl, Inc. has offered hope to survivors through opportunities to lead in their own communities. As a social purpose corporation, the company has a charitable purpose to improve outcomes and create opportunities for runaway and homeless youth. Carissa’s inspiring memoir Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time, has been instrumental in changing countless hearts and minds. In 2008, she co-produced the award winning short documentary that took her back to the streets where she was trafficked at 12 years old. Her memoir and film are used as tools to train and teach by organizations worldwide. In 2007, Carissa earned both a Juris Doctorate and MBA from UCLA. In 2010, she was named one of the top 100 inspirational graduates by UCLA Anderson School of Management. She holds a BA in mathematics summa cum laude from Fresno State, and in 2013 she was celebrated as a Top Dog by the university. Carissa lives on the Central Coast of California, where she creates and contributes to positive impact businesses as a social entrepreneur.
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