(Mike Kropf ’14)
Over the past three seasons, Janese Quick ’18 has been a unifying presence in the middle of the ﬁeld for the Longwood women’s soccer team. Now after her standout playing career has come to a close, the former team captain is joining a different team, one on which she hopes to ﬁll a similarly impactful role in the global ﬁght against human trafﬁcking.
Armed with her Longwood undergraduate degree and nearing the completion of her master’s as well, Quick is fulﬁlling a years-long passion to combat a black market industry that she has seen ﬁrsthand in her native Florida. She is currently doing so with Rethreaded, a nonproﬁt retail organization based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Rethreaded ﬁghts human trafﬁcking by providing a new path in life for victims who escape, and Quick has been a part of that mission since her internship with the organization this past winter.
“Rethreaded gives them a whole new perspective on life,” said Quick, who still volunteers regularly. “They combat the sex trade industry by giving the victims a new identity and a purpose with practical business skills and holistic healing for them through the work.”
Rethreaded was founded by Kristen Keen in 2012 as an “upcycle” business that turns donated clothing items into unique products, such as rugs, bags and scarves. The organization trains survivors of human trafﬁcking to run various aspects of the business using a holistic model that provides as much practical business training as it does life-changing guidance.
During her internship, Quick worked alongside many trafﬁcking survivors-turned-businesswomen, allowing her to see ﬁrsthand the effects of the sex trade on individuals and the life-changing impact of Rethreaded’s healing program. The organization currently employs approximately 15 survivors and boosts its reach through the work of volunteers, like Quick, and donations.
“The more I got into it, the more passionate I felt about helping the victims and advocating for them,” Quick said. “You develop relationships with them, and you see how badly they needed this safety net and this savior of a business. The more you develop those relationships, the more you want to go deeper and really help those individuals who are stuck in the industry right now.”
Quick, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Longwood in just three years, remains involved with Rethreaded, balancing her work there with the pursuit of her MBA at Longwood.
'The more I got into it, the more passionate I felt about helping the victims and advocating for them.'JANESE QUICK ’18
Her current focus at Rethreaded is on wholesale management and client management, two areas that have allowed her to see the life-altering impact the organization’s business model provides to survivors.
“It helped me get a new perspective on how a business can go beyond simply trying to sell a product and really change lives for the better,” she said. “The people they’ve helped who work there are all in different stages of their rehab and healing. Some people are just a few months out of the sex trade, and some are years out. You get to see each step of the healing process.”
That Quick would positively affect the lives of others so soon after her time at Longwood should come as no surprise to those who followed her soccer career as a Lancer. She not only made an impact on the ﬁeld as a starting midﬁelder in her ﬁnal three seasons, she also was elevated to team captain her senior year, helping propel Longwood in 2017 to its ﬁrst Big South Championship game and its highest winning percentage in the Division I era. She was named to the All-Big South ﬁrst team for her efforts, which came alongside a sterling academic record that included three-straight years on the Big South Presidential Honor Roll.
Now with her soccer career in the rearview, Quick is turning her sights to her burgeoning passion to combat human trafﬁcking. The internship and volunteer work at Rethreaded is just the start.
“Right now I want to stay in nonproﬁt work and help the victims heal and recover, but I deﬁnitely want to get into the criminal justice side later in my career,” she said. “I feel like the healing side is a good way to get my feet wet in the industry. I’d eventually like to take on the experience of working with more difﬁcult encounters like victims coming straight out of the industry.”
Regardless of where she ends up, Quick has more than proven she’s a great addition to any team.