Debbie is a mother and grandmother, an author and an artist.  She says she takes after her mom in focusing on the bright side in life and chooses to see the good in people.  She is very passionate in everything she does.  Upon learning the realities of human trafficking, not only globally but here in our own backyard, she has purposed to raise awareness to the community and has a vision to provide safe homes of healing and hope for women survivors of trafficking.

Debbie is certified through Shared Hope International as an Ambassador, completing education and training regarding Human Trafficking. She is a public speaker raising awareness to the community through public speaking opportunities presenting workshops in schools, colleges, civic groups, churches, and local businesses.

She is a member of Safe Harbour Human Trafficking Task Force for Schenectady County, as well as Domestic Violence Task Force and Sexual Assault Victims Advocacy Task Force. She visits weekly with women at the city jail, joining counselors from the YWCA.

She is owner of Her Treasure Box and Founder/President of Eyes Wide Open, NENY Inc. Debbie and her friend Patty opened Her Treasure Box March 30, 2016. The art and craft supply thrift store, run solely by volunteers and all profit supports Eyes Wide Open, NENY, Inc. mission and goals. With the encouragement from the Sisters of the Coalition to End Human Trafficking, Eyes Wide Open NENY, Inc. was established in August 2015 with the vision to provide safe homes of healing and hope for women who have been trafficked.



Sister Fran has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Albany, NY for 56 years. She is a retired educator, long-time justice advocate, a free-lance writer and a member of the Capital Region’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force.



Tara is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor in private practice in Guilderland, NY.  Prior to opening her own private practice, she worked at St. Anne Institute in their community-based program.  She worked with victims of sexual assault, juveniles who sexually acted out, as well as the offender.  Since opening her private practice, Tara has become certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a highly researched and evidence-based treatment technique to help people heal from trauma.  She continues to seek out training in advanced trauma techniques to better serve the population she treats.  Tara has spent her career focused on helping people who have struggled with trauma and trauma symptoms.  More specifically, her passion is helping people, of all ages and genders, heal from sexual trauma.  


Tara became aware of Eyes Wide Open when the organization reached out to her to coordinate therapeutic support for the women in the program.  Upon researching the non-profit, Tara quickly believed in the mission of Eyes Wide Open and wanted to be more involved.  Tara is excited and honored to be a part of Eyes Wide Open.



Elise currently works as an educational consultant with a British company providing technical assistance to low performing schools across this country and abroad.  She holds a doctorate in curriculum, instruction, and assessment and is particularly interested in the empowerment of women and girls through education. 


Elise is a former board member of the Working Group on Girls Schenectady and served on the board of Women Graduates – USA, the United States affiliate, along with other women’s organizations from over 60 countries, of Graduate Women International, formerly known as the International Federation of University Women based in Geneva, Switzerland. She has served on the education committee of GWI and presented at the annual Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.

She is the US lead for Women Graduates – USA’s  collaboration with the Canadian Federation of University Women and the Mexican Federation of University Women to focus on the challenges, especially human trafficking, of migrant women and children moving through Mexico from primarily Central America  north through the United States and into Canada.  In addition, this group continues to research the injustices to indigenous women in all three countries.

An unstoppable crafter, Elise was drawn to Her Treasure Box for the wealth of tempting materials but felt an immediate connection with the philosophy behind the shop and the passion of the women affiliated with it. She’s honored to serve on the board.


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