Karissa Bolden is the Executive Director for Catch The Wave of Hope. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida and has a proven track record of success working with girls who have been sex trafficked. Her experience as the clinical director of a secure, high/max risk, intensive mental health facility within the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in Stuart, FL makes her uniquely qualified to identify the services needed to help human trafficking victims.
Karissa earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Purdue University in Law and Society with minors in forensic science and psychology. She attended The Adler School of Professional Psychology (now called Adler University) where she earned her Master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in forensic psychology.
Her valuable experience and inside knowledge of what it takes to help these young women is what led her to Catch The Wave of Hope alongside the passion and determination to meet the children’s needs through using her awareness of the potential benefits of treatment in a secure setting to educate the public and develop an innovative model for specialized treatment services. Karissa knows first-hand the challenges that come with this population and she is ambitious about educating others regarding the trauma and associated symptoms with being sex trafficked. She drives to inspire the change that is necessary to help children heal from their traumatic experiences and become independent, successful adults within our society.
Collaboration is a focus of Karissa’s work ethic and a necessary component of her leadership. This is because she understands the complexity of working with human trafficking survivors and the necessary component of a local Multidisciplinary Team that is assigned to providing victims with a continuum of care. She knows what it takes to develop a foundation for a therapeutic program that emphasizes physical and emotional safety as a priority when meeting the complex treatment needs of each child.