In 2008, Brenda Myers-Powell and Stephanie Daniels-Wilson founded a survivor-led and survivor-focused not-for-profit organization that has worked to prevent the sexual exploitation of at-risk youth and to help current victims find confidence and stability through education and individualized care and services. Their harm reduction, holistic, eclectic approach offers the clinical and practical applications to encourage and empower Chicago’s most disenfranchised and disadvantaged young women.
The Dreamcatcher Foundation is a survivor founded, survivor driven, and survivor focused agency fighting to end human trafficking in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. The not-for-profit organization works to prevent the sexual exploitation of at-risk youth and helps them find confidence and stability through education, empowerment, and active prevention.
Dreamcatcher Foundation's goal is to create an environment in which victims of human trafficking can be empowered, educated, and self-confident
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ms. Myers-Powell was a product of human trafficking at the age of 14 where she escaped an abusive home life and learned to navigate the streets of Chicago. Living through physical, mental, and sexual abuse not only made her numb to the adversities she faced, they also equipped her to survive as a testament for the young women she was to mentor out of the life. With 25 years as a teenage and adult prostitute, Ms. Myers-Powell brings the insight and depth to help others change their lives and successfully live their dreams.
Equipped with a message that has touched the hearts of many individuals and challenged the culture of many communities, Ms. Myers-Powell educates on the perils of human trafficking with a raw edge not for the faint at heart. Survivor of abuse, drugs, and prostitution, she provides perspective for women to reach new levels of accomplishments for their future. Also researching with Jody Rapheal of DePaul University, Ms. Myers-Powell’s work and knowledge of the human trafficking industry has shed light on the struggle and continues to promote awareness in the Chicagoland area.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Daniels-Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Chicago State University and a Master of Science degree from National Louis University. With over 20 years of experience in Social Services, 10 of those years were specifically focused on women active in the sex trade and affected by substance abuse, addiction, and HIV infection.
After personally observing several acts of sexual exploitation on the south side of Chicago in the Englewood community, It was at that moment that Stephanie knew that she needed to do something in her community to take a stand against sexual exploitation. Out of that vision, Stephanie began working towards making The Dreamcatcher Foundation a reality.
Collaborating with researcher Jody Rapheal of DePaul University, Ms. Daniels-Wilson has studied the ins and outs of human trafficking in the Chicagoland area and its effect on young women. To assist in her fight for social injustices, Ms. Daniels-Wilson sits on the board for the Women of Power Alumni Association.