Plentiful tears were shed at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy’s annual Change Makers Breakfast recently as former Emory University student Rachel Thomas stood at the podium and bravely told her story of going from being a junior at one of the area’s top universities to becoming a victim of sex trafficking.

Photos: Paula Bond Heller

A champion for sexually and physically abused children since 1987, the GCCA has donated its services to more than 17,000 youth in Fulton and DeKalb counties, and through moving stories from survivors such as Thomas, uses the gathering to raise awareness and funds for its efforts. This year’s event brought in more than $65,000. The breakfast, which coincides with Child Abuse Prevention Month, also included the presentation of the 2019 Nancy Chandler Child Advocate of the Year award to Dalia Racine, an attorney advisor at AEquitas, who during her time with the Fulton and DeKalb County District Attorney’s Offices, prosecuted dozens of cases involving human trafficking and sexual and physical assault.