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Best of luck, Rachel!

June 24, 2011

Our StaffThis week, SOLD Founder Rachel Sparks-Graeser officially begins her work with Teach for America. Here’s a big shout-out THANK YOU to Rachel for all she has done and continues to do for children in need. We love you, Rachel. Best of luck!

In case you missed it, below is a March 2011 letter from Rachel that we emailed to announce her next steps.

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Dearest friends,

In 2006, my life changed forever when I heard about the reality of child prostitution in our world. Less than a year later, I flew to Thailand and met a young girl named Cat whose story would become intertwined with my own. Unexpectedly, The SOLD Project was born. Years later, with a completed film, 501(c)3 status, and a national film tour under my belt, I moved to Thailand with my new husband to further develop The SOLD Project’s prevention programs.

Click here to make a gift in Rachel's honorIn that unforgettable year, I came alive in ways I didn’t know were possible. We witnessed firsthand the daily impact that SOLD was having on these young lives. Upon returning to the U.S., my husband and I slowly settled back into living, work, and school. Back in the States, I quickly realized that my true strengths come alive when I am consistently working with children, as I was able to while living in Thailand. As my husband and I talked through our next steps together, I felt my heart begin to pull in a new yet familiar direction. This journey with SOLD has shown me many things, but my biggest lesson is that education truly is the key to prevention—not only prevention of child prostitution, but of many issues around our world.

So it is that, this June, I will be transitioning from my full-time role within SOLD to serve on our Board of Directors. At that time, I will be joining Teach for America, whose mission is that “one day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.” I am privileged to be one of the chosen few to join such a great organization, and I couldn’t be more excited. Like SOLD, Teach for America understands the power of education to change a child’s life. At this point, all I know is that I will be teaching in a public elementary school in Los Angeles. I’m looking forward to the adventure.

As SOLD’s founder and a board member, I will still remain involved in SOLD’s major decision-making, including trips to Thailand, but I will no longer be a part of the everyday operations of the organization. SOLD is my baby, and I want to keep it close, but sometimes you have to let go.

I am sad to go. How could I not be? But I am so proud of The SOLD Project and how it is truly changing lives. I am even more proud of those who are now leading SOLD. I’m leaving my baby in the most capable, loving hands. I have no hesitations or reservations about where SOLD is headed and the impact that it will continue to have. I will miss working for this organization, no doubt, but am ready for the next phase of the journey. Thank you for sharing my dream and catching a vision for a world without child exploitation.

Here’s to Hope,

Rachel Sparks-Graeser

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