Meet Our Team

Victoria Erdel | Founder and Host
Victoria was 13 years old when she met the founder of Starfish Project, a social enterprise that helps women escaping sexually exploitative situations. This brief meeting sparked her interest in human trafficking, which eventually led her to intern for this same organization six years later. Before landing the internship, however, she spent her days learning more about the various types of human trafficking. She has taken classes, attended lectures, read books, written and published articles and essays, and delivered speeches and lectures on human trafficking. Victoria also researches the historical roots of human trafficking in Angola under Dr. Mariana Candido through the International Scholars Program. These academic and professional experiences in the anti-trafficking field have convinced Victoria that she wants to do more to raise awareness about human trafficking. She decided to start The Trafficking Dispatch, which she will balance with her studies as a Sociology major and TESOL minor, positions as a Writing Center Tutor and Teaching Assistant, and participation in Iron Sharpens Iron.

Yuning (Emily) Wang | Host
Emily is a senior at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts. Her passion is social justice and making her community a more diverse and inclusive one. She is the Vice President of the International Club, the leader of a diversity discussion panel, and is a member of the TED x Cushing committee. Currently, she is working with her academic dean to create a more diversified humanities curriculum. She spent one summer interning at an NGO that helps women who were victims of sex trafficking. During her internship, she was given the chance to live and work with the women. She created a series of humanities/enrichment classes for the women, such as Beijing Opera, modeling, and animation classes. She also began a volunteer program for the women at another NGO for children with autism. She hopes to raise awareness about human trafficking through the podcast.
Listen to her episodes here: Episode 2, Episode 6, Episode 12, Episode 18

Ariel Niforatos | Host
Ariel is a junior Biology and Psychology double major who is passionate about social justice and human trafficking. She was first exposed to human trafficking because there is a lucrative sex trafficking network in her home New Mexico that especially affects the Native American women who live on reservations. Since discovering this, she has done a lot of work to raise awareness about the plight of Native women, including authoring an article for the healthcare blog RethinkAid called "Human Trafficking on the Rez: a Closer Look at Life for Females in New Mexico". Long-term, Ariel plans on going to medical school to become a physician who works with sex trafficking survivors potentially as a psychiatrist or women's health specialist.
Listen to her episodes here: Episode 14, Episode 17

Anna Erdel | Publicist
Anna first learned about human trafficking during her freshman year of college when her classmates brought the End It Movement to campus. Since graduating from Bethel College with a degree in Sociology and TESOL, Anna worked as an elementary school teacher, bilingual assistant to first and second graders, and will be studying to get her teaching license. She is currently working as the Childcare and Early Development Coordinator at Casa Adalia, a home in Ecuador that works with survivors of sex trafficking and their children. She hopes to strengthen relationships between The Trafficking Dispatch team and other anti-trafficking advocates and expand the podcast’s audience.

Sydney Schneider | Editor
Sydney first learned of the issue of human trafficking through her involvement in the Catholic Church, which recognizes the major threat that human trafficking poses to the dignity of the human person. The issue hit closer to home when she interned in the public policy department of the Michigan Catholic Conference in Lansing, Michigan. Through this internship, she had the opportunity to research human trafficking in her home state of Michigan in order to recommend potential legislation to Michigan lawmakers. This experience also allowed her to speak with members of the Capital Area Anti-trafficking Alliance who had firsthand experience with victims of trafficking. As a result, she became passionate about sharing this information with others to help them fight the injustices occurring in their very own neighborhoods. To help realize this goal, she chose to join The Trafficking Dispatch team. In addition to her role in this project, she is pursuing a History and Theology major with an ESS minor. She augments these studies through her participation as the Vice President of the Notre Dame Militia Immaculata, an ASSA tutor, and a catechist for the Institute for Church Life.

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