About Elizabeth Quiroz
From Trauma to Triumph
Elizabeth Quiroz is a student at Sonoma State University, where she is working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Her goal is to become a probation officer where she can help make a positive impact on the lives of those transitioning through the justice system. As Elizabeth pursues this goal, she also serves as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor at Athena House Residential Treatment Center for women in Santa Rosa, California, and she serves as a human trafficking victim advocate.
Elizabeth’s passion for helping victims of human sex trafficking has led her to start a nonprofit organization that will open a safe-house for human trafficking victims here in Sonoma County called Redemption House. Elizabeth does all of this while working with her husband, José “Mico” Quiroz to raise their five children, and working to raise awareness about human trafficking and its long-term impact on the lives of girls and women in communities across the country.
Elizabeth’s passion and determination were fueled by a desire to atone for what she describes as mistakes of her past. These mistakes include past drug use, multiple arrests, and incarcerations. But, she has come to realize that these mistakes were a product of her childhood years surrounded by alcoholism, addiction, and being the victim of abuse. Elizabeth was the victim of a broken foster-care system that focused on her negative behavior while missing signs of abuse and trauma. Elizabeth soon found herself trapped in an abusive relationship, the victim of human trafficking, moving from the foster care system to the juvenile justice system, and on to the jail and prison systems.
Elizabeth dropped out of high school to run away from her problems. She developed a drug addiction, and by age fifteen, she found herself trapped in human sex trafficking and abusive relationships. By age sixteen, she committed a robbery under the control of her trafficker. She was arrested and placed in Juvenile Hall and later transferred to a group home facility in Sacramento, California. She soon became an adult and continued her life of drug addiction and crime while being controlled by her trafficker. Elizabeth was now spending time in and out of the county jail and state prison systems.
In 2011, at age twenty-six, Elizabeth was arrested; this time, she promised herself it would be the last time. She had just given birth to a new baby boy and was determined to turn her life around by getting out from under her trafficker. While incarcerated, Elizabeth took classes and received her GED, and completed Starting Point, an in-custody drug treatment program. Upon her release, she attended the Women’s Recovery Services, a one-year residential treatment program. It was there that she decided she wanted to save lives by helping those still sick with addiction and those in bondages of human sex trafficking. This desire to help young women at risk is what motivated Elizabeth to go to college.
After completing the Women’s Recovery Services program and receiving a certificate, Elizabeth enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), where she graduated with honors, earning three Associate of Arts degrees in Social Advocacy, Behavioral Science, and Human Services.
Elizabeth’s service to the community began upon her enrollment at SRJC, volunteering for the Bear Cub Scholar Program for foster youth. She soon became President of the Second Chance Club, an onsite support program for formerly incarcerated students.
On Christmas Eve 2018, Elizabeth received an Unconditional Governor’s Pardon from Governor Jerry Brown through the support of numerous community leaders.
Motivating Others and Raising Awareness
Elizabeth is a sought after speaker and presents on various topics, including Criminal Records Expungement, Addiction Recovery, and Human Trafficking. Among her audiences are; Sonoma County Jail GED graduates, female inmates at Folsom State Prison, the California Violence Prevention Network annual conference, the Placerville Summitview Child and Family Services, Lake County Tribal Health, the San Mateo women’s correctional facility, the 2019 SRJC Latinx graduation, and more recently was a keynote speaker at the Santa Rosa Junior College President’s Address to the Community. She has also presented at events including the SRJC Human Trafficking Awareness and Women’s History Month events. As a mentor, Elizabeth works with at-risk youth from multiple organizations including, Seneca, Valley of the Moon, and Juvenile Probation.
A Strong Advocate and Emerging Leader
Elizabeth is evolving as a strong community leader and advocate. She currently serves as a member of the Sonoma County Human Trafficking Task Force, and founded and co-facilitates Sonoma County’s first Human Trafficking support group for victims and survivors. Elizabeth coordinates a monthly street outreach program for human trafficking victims, working to provide them a path to exit the control of their perpetrators safely. To support these efforts, Elizabeth is the Founder of Redemption House of The Bay Area and is working towards building a nonprofit organization to help human trafficking victims by providing them a safe place to live while recovering and healing from their traumatic past.
Recognition for Service
Elizabeth is a recipient of several recognitions including, the 2019 American Red Cross Humanitarian Hero Award, the 2019 Achievement, and Community Service Award from the Sonoma County Lowrider Council, May 2019, and was selected as one of the 2019 Faces of SSU, a project at Sonoma State University recognizing students for sharing their unique story and their on-campus leadership and contributions to the campus community.
Help Elizabeth Tell Her Story
A Gofundme has been set up to help Elizabeth tell her story by writing a new book. This book will impact and change lives around the world.
Donate Here: https://bit.ly/3nIilB6