Brenda Garcia began her career in Dallas, teaching at an inner-city school, developing programs for at-risk girls, and volunteering with a sidewalk Sunday school program designed to bring hope to some of the city's most challenging neighborhoods. Brenda went on to work as Youth Prevention Director and Victim Liaison for a local anti-trafficking organization. In this role, she collaborated to develop a prevention program and worked as a juvenile detention coordinator, taking that program into detention centers, schools, CPS groups, and youth shelters across the state of Texas. As a result of that program, Brenda had the opportunity to work one-on-one with hundreds of survivors of sex trafficking and trauma. In addition, she has trained law enforcement, probation officers, detention staff, educators, counselors, and other professionals.
It was while working with girls in detention centers that Brenda noticed a gap in services for victims. Once girls self-identified as survivors of sex trafficking or sexual abuse, there was little to no trauma-informed follow up within the system. When girls were released, there was little to no therapy/services available for families without the financial means to cover the cost. Consequently, Brenda began to see the same girls cycling in and out of the juvenile justice system. Frustrated by the service gap and driven to meet the needs of the girls she had grown to love, Brenda completed a masters degree in professional counseling. While doing so, she worked at a local children's advocacy center with survivors of trauma. Currently, Brenda is partnering with nonprofit organizations in North Texas to provide counseling services for trauma survivors and women in crisis. She also serves on the advisory board for an anti-trafficking nonprofit organization in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Brenda's own testimony of overcoming childhood sexual abuse is a powerful story of a girl set free...free from shame, free from the societal stigma of sexual abuse, and free from limitations it once placed on her. She knows firsthand how we can overcome to walk in freedom with Jesus, and how something shifts when we begin to see ourselves as he sees us...beloved, blameless, worthy, whole.
For 25+ years, Brenda has worked in one capacity or another with designated groups of at-risk youth and women, developing programs to ensure their success. The Noonday Center, based on Psalm 37:6, was birthed from the same drive to see women and girls who have been victimized by sexual exploitation and/or sexual abuse recognize their worth and realize their full potential and to receive services regardless of their ability to pay.