Rachel Goble Carey ’05 thought she’d been exposed to the plight of poor children throughout the world during travels with her family, so she was shocked to learn about human trafficking for the first time as a graduate student at Fuller Theological Seminary.
An economics and business major at Westmont, Rachel did youth ministry part time after graduating and worked as a marketing coordinator for Hawaiian Island Ministries. Initially she thought about earning an MBA and joining the family real estate business. “But I started feeling a call to ministry,” she says. “As I worked with children at risk and learned more about international development, I grew passionate about these issues.” Children sold into slavery became the focus of her research for a master’s degree in intercultural studies at Fuller. The more she learned, the more she wanted to help combat trafficking in some way. But how? Work on prevention, rescue or rehabilitation? “Where do I fit into all this?” she wondered. “How can I best use my gifts?”
Meeting Rachel Sparks-Graeser, who was making a documentary about child prostitution in Thailand, provided some answers. The two Rachels, who both lived in Pasadena, quickly became friends and started dreaming. Together they started The SOLD Project organization to use the film as a vehicle for preventing slavery, especially in Thailand (www.thesoldproject.org).
Through her studies, Rachel had discovered that little was being done to avert trafficking there. On a visit to Thailand, she met a Christian named Tawee from the hill country near Chiang Mai. He and his twin brother were the only two from his graduating class to go to college, and he was tired of seeing young women end up as prostitutes in Bangkok. He knew what an education had done for him and thought scholarships for young women would keep them in school and out of the brothels. Sparks-Graeser’s film tells the story of one of the 52 children in Tawee’s village who have received scholarships through the work of The Sold Project.
“The Sold Project” film premiered at Westmont in January. The two Rachels took it to 25 cities to build a network and raise awareness about trafficking, and interns continue to screen it. “The more eyes there are to see the evils of slavery, the harder it is to get away with,” Rachel says. “Those who know how to identify it and what it looks like are more likely to abolish it. Awareness can never be underrated.”
Rachel and her new husband, Kevin, live in California. She works on developing and marketing the prevention program as executive director of The SOLD Project while completing her master’s degree in intercultural studies at Fuller. Kevin is a worship leader at Cornerstone Church in Livermore.
Rachel comes from a family with many Westmont connections. Her parents, Roy ’81 and D’Aun Wolford ’81 Goble are past co-chairs of the Parents Council, and Roy serves on the board of trustees. Her brother, Jedd, is an English major at Westmont.
“I love all the relationships I made at Westmont,” Rachel says. “A class on entrepreneurship opened my eyes to possibilities, and I felt so liberated and so empowered in that class. It was all about dreaming, being inventive and creative, expressing ideas and taking risks. I appreciated having a professor I knew would back me up and believe in me.”