It is a pleasure to write a review for Beauty From Ashes, and for its founder Julie who demonstrates incredible energy, determination, and true passion for this significant cause. But this is more than just a cause, these goals represent lives, very young lives of girls and boys who are traumatized emotionally, sexually and spiritually through the abominable practice of human trafficking...our modern day slavery. I have known Julie now for a few years initially as a student at FGCU, then as a guest lecturer in class. Her commitment is solid and sincere and is a significant leader is the treatment, awareness, and community support of these deserving victims. Dr. Jeanette Bevilacqua
I first met Julie Shematz, Founder & CEO of Beauty From Ashes, five years ago through a board member. We had a couple of meetings at which I shared thoughts and materials that I hoped would be helpful. When we met again, after several years, I learned that BFA activities had significantly expanded and that our early meetings had been of significant help. I am impressed with Mrs. Schmetz's enthusiasm, intellegence, high energy and devotion to this needed ministry. A programatic audit recently conducted by a state agency confirmed BFA's soundness. It is recognized beyond Florida and, in my opinion, could become a model in the field and leadership organization with national impact. Donald Miltner is the Founder & CEO of Distinguished Mentors & Associates LLC. DM&A is a management consulting firm initially incorporated in 1983 to provide strategic and management council primarily to non profit Boards and CEO's personally supported by a former managing director of McKinsey & Company. The relationship afforded me the opportunity to serve more than forty national and international ministries as well as foundations, corporate executives, philanthropists and projects and programs at The White House directly involving five US Presidents.
Thanks to the generous gift of a donor, Donald Miltner was hired in August 2012 as a non for profit consultant for Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries.
I have been attending Beauty From Ashes meetings for quite a few months now. I had no idea what to expect and I had my fears of talking about my life, my past, and my addiction. All of my fears literally disappeared when I met Christa Hicks. She is loving, honest, kind, and understanding. I soon realized that this was not only Christa, but the entire organization of Beauty From Ashes. I love sharing my story and learning a better way of living in Christ. My life has truly been changed by these precious women of God and I thank Him every single that I have a safe place to go, and women that are not only equipped to help me, but anxious to do so as well. If you are struggling and feeling hopeless, just come and speak with any of us. We are in this thing called "life" together, and together we will overcome! Thank you Christa, Sharon, and all of you ladies that light up my day each time I am with you!
I met Julie in 2006 through a Divine set of circumstances. Interestingly enough we both had much in common including working in the same ministry mission field. I have personally watched Julie over the last six years grow leaps and bounds with the ministry that God has entrusted to her. She has sewn years of tears, love, prayers, hard work, devotion, passion and personal education into this ministry. I have personally witnessed lives that have been impacted by her work and her compassion. She is a woman of integrity and can be trusted with what is entrusted to her. I am proud of her work and all of her accomplishments. She is truly unique and is an asset to the Kingdom of God in the earth.
Beauty From Ashes, Julie Shematz and Christa Hicks are truly a blessing from God himself. The Fort Myers area had been continuously plagued by much turmoil and was in dire need of the services that this organization provides. Our revolutionary leader, Mrs. Shematz has been one of the pioneers in the human trafficking movement in Southwest Florida. I have never been a part of such a driven and multifaceted environment that thoroughly and whole-heartedly works to assist and advocate for victims of sexual abuse, commercialized sexual exploitation, and human trafficking. Christa does an amazing job of working to restore our victims on many levels in addition to linking them with numerous other resources across the United States. Julie is constantly planning for further developments in programs, evidence based therapeutic practices, and outreach on a grand scale. Christa and Julie truly work harder than any other individuals I have witnessed in the human services professions. I am so blessed to have been a part of this organization as we continue to reach and empower many more clients that are in need of our services. I will continue to provide testimony to all emanating the numbers of women that have and are beginning to discover their true purposes in life that God had intended for them to lead. There are clients that are now leading healthy and prosperous lives because of such efforts from Beauty From Ashes. For an organization to be successful it requires dedication by those who run it, but this organization is GREAT because of such devotion proven from all who work for this wonderful organization.
I was someone that received help from Beauty from Ashes. Since I lived in California I received counseling by phone. This was during BFA's early days and Julie was amazing and really handled each conversation with special care. BFA really made a difference in my life at a time when I was most fragile in my recovery and I felt very cared for. I will be recommending other women who are local to BFA.
I was introduced to Beauty From Ashes during a training, and since then have had the privilege to volunteer with the organization. I am consistently impressed by the professionalism of the organization and the services that they provide to clients. They do a great job at providing care to clients from a holistic perspective. I also love the emphasis that Beauty From Ashes places on training and mentoring the next generation of leaders while providing an example of quality and strategic service.
Beauty from Ashes plays a vital role in the battle against the sex industry that has become so rampant in the global sphere. It is so important to have this ministry focusing on the issues right here at home and taking an aggressive stand against this problem. BFA offers a sincere voice of hope and deliverance from the bondage in which so many people find themselves. This unique and necessary ministry is a true forerunner in our community and is carrying the torch with integrity, vibrancy, and humility.
As the husband of the founder of Beauty from Ashes™ Ministries, as well as the Vice President of the organization, I have truly been amazed to watch how through Julie's diligence it has grown and developed since its establishment in 2005. Starting nearly 10 years ago as a simple outreach to deliver gifts to help exotic dancers, Beauty From Ashes™ has become so much more. From providing encouragement to those trapped in, trying to escape from or struggling to stay free of the adult entertainment industry to spreading awareness about the scourge of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and the impact it is having on our country today, Beauty from Ashes is bringing the highest levels of professionalism and integrity to every aspect of their victim-centered services. I cannot recommend this organization highly enough to anyone who needs aid in this area or anyone who has a heart to get involved and help to change others' lives.
I was introduced about 9 months ago to Julie the founder of Beauty from Ashes (BFA) from a long time friend from church who had recently been hired as the Program Director for them. It was my horses and our mutual love of riding that brought us together initially. Already heavily involved in serving my church and another charity my involvement with BFA was slow going and I choose to initially focus on a growing friendship and enjoy my new horse riding buddy. You can learn a lot about a person when you spend hours at a time on the trail with them. And we have spent many many hours in the saddle since our first outing. :) You can also learn a lot about the organization they founded and lead. I realize that there are many organization that help the abused and trafficked girls and women but I cannot express to you enough the impact that seeing vibrant, healthy, strong women who have survived such ordeals lead others to health and wholeness in Christ. It is truly amazing. Their personal testimonies, the way the live their lives and their heart for serving these hurting girls and women is truly amazing. Whether you to invest $10 or $10,000 to change the life of an individual I can tell you not a dollar will be wasted. It's an investment that is changing lives of women, their families and the lives they touch across America.
Beauty From Ashes Ministries is not only professional and knowledgeable in serving their clients, they are also led very much out of hearts of love and compassion, characteristics that are specifically needed in the work they do. I saw how quick and detailed they are in responding to client needs. My experience with Beauty From Ashes was a huge inspiration to me personally and taught me about the realities of working in this kind of helping profession. They truly love and understand the population they serve.
I have been volunteering for about two months now, and continue to be amazed at the work Beauty From Ashes Ministries does in order to help those who have been sexually abused, exploited or trafficked. They treat every woman with dignity, respect and honor and want each person they serve to feel loved and valued.