Sophia grew up in rural Mississippi as the youngest of 13 children. Her mother died when she was just three months old. Her oldest sister, barely 13, was thrust into the caregiver role while working in the cotton fields and attending school whenever she could. Sophia?s father was a gambler and when he was unable to pay his gambling debts, he used his own daughters as payment.
Sophia was sent away to live with a multitude of relatives. The only constant in her life from kindergarten to the age of 15 was being regularly molested by the men in these various families.
From Mississippi to the projects of Chicago, Sophia recalls, I was a sheep being led to the slaughter. I was as green and gullible as all out doors. I moved from home to home but the only thing that never changed was men having sex with me as a child.
Just prior to her 14th birthday, Sophia was sent to Indianapolis to live with another sister. High school was humiliating, so she just stopped attending. Before age 15, she visited juvenile detention three times for skipping school and stealing. Eventually she was placed in a group home for girls. Things went wrong so she ran away.
Life on the streets was no picnic. She knew all too well what to do for a warm place to sleep. Sophia said I could have easily become a victim of human trafficking. This is how it starts. I was a sitting duck for being exploited.? After months of homelessness she grew weary of this life and she turned herself ?in to juvenile.
Her third discharge from juvenile was a life-saver. Sophia was placed at Pleasant Run Children's Home from age 15 to 18 and said, ?For the first time in my life, I had stability and I was not molested during this time.? Sophia?s house-mother helped her with a book report and her teacher spoke prophetic words in praise saying, ?Sophia, this is an excellent report. I will not be surprised when you grow up to be a famous author.? And indeed she did! Sophia is a published author of two books dedicating the first book to her English teacher and her house-mother. Never underestimate the power of sowing into the life of a young person. One small act of interest and inspiration can make a lifetime of significant positive difference.
For three years, Sophia was sheltered and protected from sexual predators. She had structure and with hard work and encouragement, she graduated from Manual High School. As she approached emancipation from the foster care system, Sophia remembers, I was not prepared for independence. I lacked emotional maturity, social skills, financial education as well as self-esteem. Looking for love and acceptance, I made countless bad choices that ultimately lead to a life of sex trafficking. Sixty percent of girls coming out of the foster care system fall prey to human trafficking.
Sophia?s story is the story of Kathleen Sophia Coleman who founded Miss Sophia?s House as a result of her life experience. Her passion is to awaken potential, cultivate gifts and empower young girls growing up like she did, who are in dire need of a positive role model. Miss Sophia?s house is an arts program which builds self-esteem, teamwork and motivation while inspiring growth and awakening potential for maximum fulfillment of a girl?s calling and purpose.
Glory be to God for saving and preserving the life of Kathleen Coleman and anointing her as a minister, intercessor and founder of the International Evangelistic Prayer Ministry, a 501c3 non-profit of which Miss Sophia?s house is part of.
Engage Kathleen Coleman as a speaker for your church or organization. Let her light a fire for God?s word and allow it to inspire your group to take action to transform your community.
Polly Riddell writing under the pen name G. Polly Jordan loves to learn the story. She is a freelance journalist connecting people through the stories they share.