Tyra Omeir's passion for helping end human trafficking has led to a full-time position with the non-profit organization Safe From Slavery.
Omeir, who graduated from Ozarks in December 2013 with a double major in psychology of human behavior and strategic communication, will move to London, England, in the spring to begin working with the organization whose aim it is "to raise awareness of sex slavery and to provide safe accommodations for survivors of sex slavery, restoring hope and dignity."
Tyra Omeir, a December 2013 graduate, used her degree and experience as a volunteer to secure a position with the non-profit organization Safe From Slavery in London, England.
Omeir, a native of Bluefields, Nicaragua, will work as a residence counselor and house manager, dealing with women who are trying to recover from forced prostitution or involuntary labor.
"This is something that I feel a very strong passion for," said Omeir. "I want to help end the horrible practice of human trafficking and sex slavery in the world. It’s really a big problem in the world that so many people know very little about. "
Omeir said she first got involved with the cause after hearing a representative from Partners Against Human Trafficking (PATH) speak on campus. That led to her getting involved as a volunteer with a local chapter of PATH. She even attended conferences and training sessions to become a counselor for victims of human trafficking.
"It was just something that hit me from the first moment I heard about it," she said. "I feel like God put this in front of me and that I was called to do this."
Omeir, who was selected by her classmates to give the student address during the December Commencement ceremony, was active in Alpha & Omega, Enactus and The Psychology Club during her four years at Ozarks. She also went on a total of 11 mission trips during her time at the University, including a trip to an impoverished area of El Salvador last summer with Alpha & Omega.
"There’s nothing more self-fulfilling and humbling then working with children in these areas," Omeir said. "I think I learned a lot about myself on the mission trips, including the fact that it was something I loved doing."
It was shortly after one of her mission trips that she decided to add a major in psychology of human behavior, a degree that she believes will be very helpful in working with victims of human trafficking.
"I realized after one of my mission trips that I needed to have the tools and knowledge to deal with people who come from different backgrounds and are dealing with lots of different issues," Omeir said. "I want to use the experience and knowledge I’ve gained to help people in any way possible."