FOUNDER AND CEO + CASE MANAGER
Bello is the grateful recipient of two honorary doctorates received for her years of labor in the anti-trafficking movement and ministry. Her work and achievements in this arena have served as an inspiration for her writings. Bello will receive her doctorate in Pastoral Clinical Counseling in 2017/18 and her accreditation from Sarasota’s NCCA (National Christian Counseling Association) for her ministerial studies.
In Bello’s words: “I teach child and young adult victims that it’s not what they call you, but how you choose to respond. Being a survivor of child trafficking has also come with a stigma that can really hurt.”
As those she serves, Bello and other survivors she knows have been called many heinous names by others who may not understand what it’s like to have been a child multiply raped and exploited nor celebrate child or young adult victims’ new freedom.
“As a child or teen victim you don’t feel clean or pure and kids, especially girls, desire purity, so we teach them that they are pure and why,” said Bello. “But being a survivor can squelch that, so the books remind me and hopefully others of what is stolen in the fire of abuse and the restoration of such honors.”
More Too Life founder and CEO, Brook Bello is an author, innovative thought leader, filmmaker/actress who believes that “art heals”. As their trademarked logo and Bello coined motto states, “victim to survivor, survivor to thriver, thriver to champion,” Bello is changing the way pop culture views sexual exploitation and its end. She and her team at More Too Life address the root causes of human trafficking, such as incest, rape, molestation, pedophilia, poverty, fatherlessness, and other societal issues that often camouflage these abuses.
Bello is the 2016 Florida State advocate of the year presented by Attorney General Pam Bondi and the statewide Human Trafficking Council. Brook’s efforts as a human rights activist lead to sweeping changes in 2015 to Florida law through the passage of HB369 and HB465. The Florida house and senate unanimously approved both bills, which for the first time Bello added and included key language using the word prostitution as it relates to human trafficking. In 2016 as Bello lobbied for and spoke before the senate committee for SB784 HB545 she saw the unanimous passing of a bill. She had fought for including hoteliers and those that rent rooms for the purpose of exploitation to be charged with a crime and for the Florida statue that now fully states no child can ever be prosecuted for prostitution.
As a nationally recognized innovative thought leader in the prevention of human trafficking, sexual violence, and sexual exploitation, Bello is a member of the NoVo Foundation started by the Buffet family, daughter of Warren, Jennifer Buffet and her amazing initiative to assist women and girls globally. Brook has been a member of the Demand Abolition Research Advisory Council for Hunt Alternative and a truth panel member for the Frederick Douglas Family Initiative. She has spoken and taught alongside some of the world’s most influential people including U.S. Presidents, state governors, senators, legislators, and community leaders. Recognized for her powerful work. Having had articles written about her in Ebony and Essence Magazines and various articles around the country Bello is a sought after motivational speaker.
Bello was featured as a keynote speaker at the following national events: the first Eradication of Modern Day Slavery Summit at the White House, she also spoke alongside President Jimmy Carter at the Global Freedom Summit, Rotary International where she presented on victim services, United Way Worldwide various events, The Global Summit at Wheelock College in Boston alongside Cherie Blair, social justice leader and wife of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, Dr. Charles Olgletree Harvard Law school Professor, Mass Housing, DC Housing Authority, and the Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Freedom Summit alongside Joshua Dubois, Mira Sorvino, Mara Vanderslice-Kelly, Dr. Caroline Leaf. Dr. Bello is an ordained minister teacher and preacher at First Baptist Church Glenarden, and many Women’s Conferences and other churches and conferences.
Author of Living Inside the Rainbow, available at Harvard University Bookstore, Amazon and iBooks, Bello is passionate about children, teens, and women and fathers.
In addition to her work as an author and founder of More Too Life, Bello is a licensed chaplain, and has received two honorary doctorates for her years of work in human trafficking and ministry. Her bachelor’s degree is in Biblical Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary and a master’s degree in Christian Counseling from CICA-International University and Seminary. She is currently completing a doctoral degree in Pastoral Clinical Christian Counseling from covenant theological seminary and her licensing from NCCA. She also hosts a YouTube web series entitled Brook Bello Inspires YOUTHIASM® featuring inspirational speaking, teaching, and preaching ministry.
Her recent honor to be named by United Way Worldwide, as one of the heroes, will be seen in the 2017 television series, “The Hero Effect” produced by United Way Worldwide and Dolphin Media. Brook has several awards and was chosen as hero of the month by Discovery Communications November 2015. She received the President’s Award from the Baptist National Convention, the Scarlet Thread Award and other honors.
MENTOR CASE MANAGER
Derek Thompson is Victim Service Mentor More Too Life. He is passionate about MTL and its mission to change the way pop culture views sexual exploitation, while providing aftercare services to see victims go from victim to survivor, survivor to thriver, and thriver to champion. Derek brings prior youth development and mentoring experience to the role, as well as a passion for combating all forms of human trafficking. In 2004, after learning about human trafficking he has been an active participant in the anti-trafficking movement, using his skills and resources to educate the community, raise awareness and funds for victim care, and embrace and assist MTL’s already in place demand prevention strategies that address root causes. He is happily married and a proud father of his four daughters. Derek attended Fuller Theological Seminary between 2004-2007 and graduated with MA in Biblical Studies and Theology. During this time he took on a dual educational track to focus on “Children at Risk” and is nearly finished with his MA in Cross Cultural Studies. Derek received his BA in English at Palm Beach Atlantic College (1995-2000).
MSW & ADVOCATE
Dawn comes to More Too Life with over fifteen years of professional experience connecting individuals and families to community resources, navigating complex systems of care and a proven track record of improving service delivery systems. Dawn recently spearheaded a street outreach program for unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness as a Master Case Manager as part of the Sarasota YMCA’s School House Link. She engaged close to 150 youth through street outreach and empowered them to take steps to move forward as self-sustaining adults. Dawn made strong connections with community leaders and was identified as a Subject Matter Expert to expand services for unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in Sarasota County. Dawn was honored to receive a Citizen’s Certificate of Merit from the Sarasota Police Department for her work with homeless youth. Dawn will enlighten MTL services with her broad range of knowledge in health and human services, ranging from child welfare, developmental disabilities, program management, community organizing to and advocacy on state and local levels. During her career, Dawn has served on numerous local and state committees and has been instrumental in the passage of key legislation relating to Medicaid buy-in for children, supportive employment and autism treatment. Dawn successfully secured funding from the city council to bring bus stops into compliance with ADA standards in Fort Collins, CO. Dawn is described as a strong advocate for the people she serves and is very passionate about social justice impacting our most vulnerable citizens. She holds a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Houston, a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Texas in Arlington, as well as an Associate’s in Mental Health and Youth Counseling.
- We believe in creating a “Love Culture” focusing on integrity and responsibility with those we serve and those we partner and collaborate with. We understand that our greatest asset on the planet is people. Even to modern economists – human beings are the greatest asset and we realize our greatest treasure.
- We believe the concept of “Identity Discovery” is paramount to maximizing potential, and to discover it one needs the tools and power to transform their lives. We assert that all human beings need to understand the connectedness with the whole world and that they have a significant part to play.
- We believe our words are important and all of our stories have transformational power. Therefore, we believe in teaching leadership, respect, honesty, integrity and accountability.
- We believe in helping men find their honor and ending demand. The understanding that lasting change comes with the need for the legacy of fatherhood is something that belongs to all men and therefore violence prevention and restorative justice is an urgent necessity.
- We believe in being resilience led and are focused to create social justice and lasting change in the lives of those we have the privilege to serve and those that we collaborate with. Therefore, healing, self-care, mental health, physical and dream building and goal setting is paramount to all we do.
- We believe in inclusion: we serve all who come we are non-exclusionary although our main focus is specific to certain demographics. Therefore, we also believe in long lasting partnerships plus community and global relationships.