Hello! My name is Jen Robinson. I have lived in Reno, NV for sixteen years and call it home. I love having four distinct seasons and often spend time gazing at Lake Tahoe’s beauty. In my free time, you can find me catching up with old friends, trying new restaurants in Midtown or walking along the river.
Growing up in Reno, I was unaware and desensitized to the issue of commercial sexual exploitation; it wasn’t until 2010 that I had even heard of sex trafficking. I immediately felt called to do something about this injustice. Around this time, I met Melissa Holland, who had just begun a weekly counseling session for women who were recently arrested on prostitution related charges. I drove the women to and from their counseling appointments and began building meaningful relationships with them. We went shopping for new, appropriate clothing and shared meals and stories together. The needs of the women were so much greater than anything a weekly counseling session could satisfy. With this in mind, Melissa Holland and I founded Awaken in May, 2011.
Awaken is a Christian nonprofit organization based in Reno, Nevada. Our mission is to increase awareness and education surrounding the issue of sexual exploitation and to provide shelter and restoration for its victims. Our vision is to create a restorative community that includes physical, mental and spiritual care, education and employment opportunities, and transitional homes for those seeking to begin a new life.
I am committed to seeing commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking eradicated in northern Nevada and around the world. I believe I have an important role to play in transforming my community and desire to see Reno become a safe city for our women and children.