Natasha’s story is the story of Baltimore.

Like the city, she has weathered many storms through grit, perseverance, intellect and hard work.

To understand Natasha, you have to know her story. She has been featured in numerous press outlets, including the Washington Post, Saturday Evening Post, Marie Claire and The Moth Radio Hour. Natasha was exposed to drugs as a child by her father and stepmother. After high school, she took a leap of faith and moved to Washington, DC. But with no job or prospects, she became desperate and briefly turned to sex work to make ends meet. She used drugs as a coping mechanism. Finally, in a deep depression and after hitting rock bottom, Natasha entered recovery.

It changed her life, and she knew that staying sober would be the challenge of a lifetime. She started working at Safeway as a member of UFCW Local 400. She lived paycheck to paycheck, but she continued to thrive. Natasha went on to graduate from Trinity College in Washington, DC and gave a year of service to AmeriCorps. In a remarkable turn, she began a successful career on Capitol Hill working for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and in operations roles at Media Matters and Kelley, Drye & Warren. For years, Natasha harbored her secret, praying that her colleagues would never find out about those five months in her early twenties.

Finally, Natasha decided to own her past and go public with her story. It was liberating and allowed Natasha to pursue her true calling: to give young women in similar circumstances unconditional support and new opportunity. She founded HER Resiliency Center to provide services and assistance to young, vulnerable women, and has bravely shared her personal story of recovery and redemption with national media outlets. Now, Natasha has established herself as one of the fiercest and most outspoken advocates for under-served women in the Baltimore-DC region.

Natasha has built an impressive organization in HER Resiliency Center, growing its opening budget of $35,000 in 2016 to almost $1 million in 2018. Their capacity has grown from assisting 52 young women in 2016 to serving almost 400 women today. Her strength and resilience are a model of how far each of us can come with hard work and community support.

If anyone can help build a better Baltimore for all its citizens, it’s Natasha.

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More About Natasha

HeartThreads, “Natasha’s Journey
Roll Call, “From Sex Worker to Hill Staffer
Washington Post Magazine, “After working as a call girl, she went to Capitol Hill to make a difference
The Moth, “Natasha Guynes
Marie Claire, “Sex Work is Almost Never a Choice
HER Resiliency Center video, “Here for Her

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