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Suamhirs, 22


Suamhirs, California

Torn from his family as a victim of sex trafficking in the Honduras when he was a young teenager, Suamhirs knows how it feels to be powerless. California police found him in a flophouse in San Diego and Suamhirs was promptly placed the foster care system and cast out when he was 18. Thankfully he found THP-Plus, a program that provides transitional housing and support services to help former foster care and probation youths transition to independent living.

When he learned that funds for this program might be cut, he knew he had to act. He shared his story with the media and launched a website to bring youth together to support of the program. Within two months the program was saved. Suamhirs continues to educate others about best practices for therapy and has created an anti-bullying curriculum based on his experiences. In explaining his work, Suamhirs says, “As someone who knows first-hand the many challenges and obstacles that systems involving youth face, I wanted to advocate for the youth who are still involved in any system, foster care, probation, [or] mental health…”

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2015 peace first prize winners


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