About Courage Worldwide
With Courage House locations open in Northern California and Tanzania, and with efforts underway to build a home in Hawaii, we are committed to not only rescuing child victims of sex trafficking, but also to restoring their lives. Our Courage Houses have a comprehensive program that offers a unique life plan (ULP) for each girl that brings healing to her body, mind, spirit and emotions. We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual preference.
Our business model has called for an army of volunteers to shoulder the day-to-day execution of all the tasks involved in carrying out our mission. We are grateful to the people who have believed in and, at one time or another over the past several years, financially supported the dream of building homes for children rescued out of sex trafficking. We are thankful for the professional services and materials that have been donated as well. And we are amazed at all that has been accomplished to open our first two homes.
The dream of rescuing and restoring children is now a reality and lives are being changed.
- Replicate the Courage House prototype in cities across the nation and around the world.
- Stop the demand of sex trafficking through awareness, training, and Second Chance Schools.
- Train advocates to respond to the needs of sex trafficked children in tangible ways.
- Advance a victim/survivor centered approach to sex trafficking in the public square.
- Create opportunities for social entrepreneurs to join forces with us in mutually beneficial partnerships where success is measured in ROLC (Return On Lives Changed) rather than solely in ROIC (Return on Investment Capital).
How do we intend to do this? Through Courage Concerts, Courage Cafés, Courage Merchandise, and Courage Publications to provide the necessary, consistent funding for all administrative overhead and through Courage Houses to provide rescue and restoration to child victims of sex trafficking, while helping them see their value and discover their purpose.
Courage Concerts & Awareness Events
What began as a song written by C2BU board member Stephanie Midthun to express God’s desire to rescue children from sex trafficking has turned into an entire fundraising project called “Believe in Me” complete with music CD, video and live performances. The song caught the attention of LA-based director and film producer Aaron Schnobrich who created an incredible music video that tells the story of a young girl exposed to the hideous life of sex trafficking. 100 percent of the proceeds from the CD/DVD go towards Courage Worldwide.
Currently, Courage Concerts & Awareness Events are being held in various venues nationwide. In addition to the artists performing from the CD, other guests make presentations to bring awareness as to the crime of sex trafficking and inspire people to get involved.
Courage Cafés, the Courage Worldwide online store, Courage Conferences, and Courage Concerts will all offer exclusive products and gifts which will all declare a message of courage and purpose using Courage Worldwide’s trademarked tag lines. Proceed will go to Courage Worldwide.
What is a Courage Café? Warm welcomes. Big smiles. Flavorful brews. Scrumptious eatables. Extraordinary gifts. Exclusive merchandise. A place where encouragement is free. A community meeting place where you can sip an exceptional cup of coffee, enjoy a delicious meal, read Courage Publications, shop Courage Merchandise, and view video and photographs of real people making a difference in our world—one individual at a time. Profits will go toward Courage Worldwide.
Courage Worldwide Publishing intends to publish a magazine that highlights personal stories of courage and purpose from around the world – stories of real people making a real difference and being courageous. Courage Worldwide Publishing also intends to publish quality, unique books.
Courage House Program
Courage House is the only group home that doesn’t feel like a group home. It is a place where hope is given, healing is offered, and children’s lives are restored. The girls who come to Courage House receive tangible resources to equip, encourage, and empower them to discover and fulfill their unique purpose. Our facilities and programs are intentionally designed to provide a long-term home for children who have suffered the severe trauma of sexual exploitation, as opposed to an opportunity to graduate from a program. Statistics show the majority of the young women who are victims of this crime do not have safe homes and loving families to return to once they have “graduated from the program.” Our Courage Houses offer a long-term solution and unique life plan (ULP) for each girl that brings healing to her body, mind, spirit and emotions: The Unique Life Plan
All of our resources also include processes to prepare the girls for a successful transition to self-sufficient, independent living, with future plans to open a transitional home, Courage House Too.
We believe it is never too late for an indvividual–especially a child–to be rescued and lovingly restored to a life filled with purpose and hope.
We desire to equip, encourage, and empower all individuals to discover and embrace their God-given purpose (nothing more, but absolutely refusing to settle for anything less) and to then encourage everyone in their life to do the same.
We serve and hire people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, age, or gender.
Some of our corporate values are:
Jenny Williamson is the Founder and CEO of Courage Worldwide, an international, non-profit organization that builds homes for children rescued out of sex trafficking. These homes are called Courage House. Jenny and her organization have spearheaded a comprehensive program to assist in the rescue and restoration of these young, vulnerable victims and have done ground-breaking research regarding the complex trauma of sexual exploitation, best practice therapy models and the healing process. Courage Worldwide successfully operates two homes for rescued children – one in Northern California and one in Tanzania, Africa. In addition, the organization is prototyping Courage House with plans to open one in Honolulu, Hawaii in late 2013 and in other cities around the world that need one. Jenny’s greatest passion is to see these children discover their God-given identity, fulfill their destiny, and have their lives completely restored.
In addition, Jenny and Courage Worldwide collaborate with like minded individuals and organizations with the goal of completely eradicating this evil from our planet through prevention, justice and restoration programs. Through personal passion and professional leadership, she travels extensively informing communities about the issue – challenging individuals, corporations and faith based organizations to join the fight.
Due to her efforts, expertise and leadership across the nation, Jenny was awarded the FBI Director’s 2010 Leadership Award, the 2011 Community Spirit Award by Sacramento’s District Attorney, Jan Scully and the 2012 William Jessup University’s prestigious Community Impact Award. Jenny was also invited to be part of the California Attorney General’s Working Group on human trafficking as well as Shared Hope International’s Practitioners Working Group for their National Colloquium in Washington, D.C. She is also a member of Abolition International Shelter Association’s advisory board.
Jenny and her family live in Northern California, where she also acts as the Chief Financial Officer for their family business and is the mother of 5 almost grown children.
Board of Directors
Jenny Williamson President/Chairman
Courage Conference Speaker, Jenny Williamson not only believes that each and every life has value, but that each life has a God-given purpose and destiny. She believes that discovering and fulfilling that destiny is the adventure of a lifetime. Jenny’s passion and purpose is to equip, encourage and empower everyone that crosses her path to be all that God created them to be—nothing more, but absolutely refusing to settle for anything less.
Jenny is a professional life coach, former Women’s Ministry Director, business owner, founder of Courage to Be You, Inc. an international non-profit organization that helps people find their purpose and builds homes to rescue children from sex trafficking. She is also a wife, mother, and passionate cheerleader of those wanting to embark on a journey of purpose and passion.
Her own life was forever changed when God branded the very personal and profound question upon her soul: “Do you have the courage to be you—the you I created?” Scared to death, and with all the courage she could muster, Jenny began the journey of discovering that before time began she was, “created on purpose for a purpose.” Now intentionally running like crazy toward everything God has planned for her, she loves speaking to audiences around the world encouraging them to do the same, while at the same time making them aware of a invisible, vulnerable population of children you are being held captive and sold for sex daily.
Melissa seeks to passionately follow Christ and be used by Him to encourage and serve others – however God desires. Melissa wants each day to have purpose!
After graduating in 1986 from CSUS with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Melissa enjoyed a ten year career with Aetna Life & Casualty in commercial insurance claims. God blessed her with the love of her life, Jim, and husband of 20 years (she’s still crazy about him). They have two incredible teen children at Bradshaw Christian School where Melissa substitute taught for six years. She served in women’s ministries for fifteen years, which also included the role of Women’s Director at their church in Elk Grove. Melissa is currently on staff full time at First Baptist Church and is privileged to watch God at work transforming lives!
Melissa passionately believes that the enemy has ripped us off… sold us a lie… especially in the area of sexuality. Her heart cries out for these young girls, who’s virtue has been stolen, and desires to do her small part to aid in their rescue and healing. Through the focused work of Courage House, may each of our girls one day testify of God’s amazing redemption and restoration.
Barbara Wilson is the founder of Freedom Bound Communications, a ministry that brings healing and hope to those with a sexual past and the former director of the Sexual Health Education for faith-based Alternatives Pregnancy Center in Sacramento, California.
Damon is the Senior Pastor at Grace Community Church in Elk Grove, California.
Joel has been pastor of Living Water Church in Elk Grove, CA since he and his wife planted it in 1999. He loves teaching, leading worship, and encouraging others to live out God’s purpose for them. He grew up as a missionary kid in Madagascar and has a passion for missions and seeing local churches of all denominations work together.
Dr. Gil Stieglitz
Dr. Gil Stieglitz
Dr. Gil Stieglitz is an author, speaker, catalyst, professor, and leadership consultant. He is Executive Pastor of Adventure Christian Church in Roseville, California. He is currently a professor at Western Seminary, a District Superintendent for the EFCA, a church consultant for Thriving Churches International, and President of Principles to Live By. His desire is to help as many people as possible achieve their maximum potential for God’s glory.
He is the author of eight books: Spiritual Disciplines of a CHRISTIAN; Becoming a Godly Husband; Becoming a Godly Wife; Mission Possible: Winning the Battle Over Temptation; Marital Intelligence: A Foolproof Guide to Saving and Supercharging Marriage; Going Deep in Prayer – 40 Days of In-Depth Prayer; Touching the Face of God – 40 Days of Adoring God; and They Laughed When I Wrote Another Book on Prayer…Then They Read it.
For 17 years he was the Pastor of the Twin Lakes Community Church in Southern California. He now resides in Roseville, California, with his wife Dana and their three daughters. He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Talbot School of Theology.
Bobbi Johansen graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene. She worked as a dental hygienist for six years. She took over the bookkeeping of her husband’s masonry business in 1986 and in 2002 she and her husband opened a retail stone business. In 2008 she retired from the masonry an detail business to have more time to seek out what God had for her life. She continues to serve in youth ministry at their church. She and her husband Leif have been married 28 years, and she home-schooled their three daughters through high school. Her passion is prayer and worship directed and fueled by scripture. It was through prayer her heart was made broken for the victims of sex trafficking 4 years ago. The Lord brought Bobbi and C2BU founder Jenny Williamson together in 2008. Jenny’s overwhelming love and commitment to what God has called her to ignited a passion within Bobbi to be used as God’s hands and feet to rescue these now hidden treasures of society. Her desire is that these hidden treasures be found, rescued, redeemed and restored — their lives hidden instead with Christ in God. In October of 2009, she accompanied her husband as he led a construction team to work on the Courage House in Tanzania Africa.
Mindi Russell Senior Chaplain
Senior Chaplain Mindi Russell
Senior Chaplain Mindi Russell is the Executive Director of the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy-Sacramento which serves a myriad of agencies and departments including: the Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County Sherriff’s Department, the Department of Justice, and the FBI-Sacramento. She is a career Law Enforcement Chaplain overseeing several programs that include the Law Enforcement Chaplains Program that serves law enforcement personnel and their families, Community Chaplains Program which responds to crisis events, and the Outreach Chaplains Program under which C2BU chaplains serve.
She is an affiliated member of numerous boards, teams, and other organizations, including the U.S. Crisis Chaplains (USCC) Board Member as well as Courage To Be You ( C2BU) Board Member and is a LEO Task Force member (Anti-Sex& Human trafficking). In addition to being a motivational speaker, she has implemented chaplain academies to apply her wisdom and knowledge in a practical way. She has also been awarded the National Crime Victim Service Award from President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft. This prestigious award is the highest federal honor for victim advocacy given by serving at Ground Zero on Sept 11, 2001. On July 15, 2010, she received the John A. Price Award from the International Conference of Police Chaplains which recognizes chaplains doing an outstanding job in their own departments.
She and her beloved husband of 39 years, Chaplain Frank, were high school sweethearts. They have two children and two granddaughters. They own an English bulldog named, Choppers. “Life is good and God is great,” says Chaplain Mindi, “no matter what.”
Volunteer Director Courage House Hawaii Project
Originally from California, Jessica and her husband Jeremy have lived on Oahu for over 7 years where she is an active member in the north shore community. She and her husband have been involved in youth mentoring and outreach since moving to the island. She currently works for a private emergency physician group as a clinical nurse practitioner/provider at a local hospital. Her nursing career was a key factor in moving to Oahu and she initially began working at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and attended graduate school at the University of Hawaii. Her passion for victims of sex trafficking started while writing her thesis on human trafficking and health care providers. Her research revealed that there is a gross lack of aftercare resources existing for these victims- especially the underage victims. The need for a long-term residential facility in Hawaii is a pressing need and one worth fighting for. Her extensive nursing with a heavy focus on pediatric trauma has helped her to understand the comprehensive needs of children who experience trauma and the need for a holistic place to offer healing.
Jessica has recently published two articles in an Emergency Physician Journal (Emergency Physicians Monthly) on identifying victims of sex trafficking. she is passionate about educating health care providers on the issue of trafficking the need for a tailored approach to aftercare with emphasis on a long term residential home.
Dr. John Jackson
Dr. John Jackson
Dr. John Jackson is the President of William Jessup University (WJU). He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Organizational Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His strong background in executive and organizational leadership has given him the opportunity to come alongside churches and business leaders throughout the nation to assist in furthering their organizational leadership and communications skills. He has spoken in national and global settings, taught and lectured in undergraduate and graduate classes and has written and co-authored six books. In 1939, William L. Jessup created San Jose Bible College with fourteen students. Today, WJU has grown to nearly 900 students who represent the traditional undergraduate program and School of Professional Studies.
Learn more about Courage Worldwide by attending one of our Informational Orientations. Find out more here.