Inspiring Latina: Police Officer, Philanthropist & Entrepreneur Lourdes Nieto

Lourdes Nieto is a real-life superhero.

Nieto spends her days fighting crime as a police officer with the Chicago PD, and, in her free time, she works as a passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking.

Nieto works tirelessly to prevent human trafficking in her city. She's partnered with the Salvation ArmyTraffick Free and her Alderman's office to raise awareness about the crime in her community. Her ultimate goal is to provide an in-service training for Chicago police officers to educate them on how to properly address the issue and adequately serve the victims. Until that dream becomes a reality, Nieto plans to continue her crusade against human trafficking. 

Alongside her work as a philanthropist and police officer, Nieto is the owner a candy table boutique, which provides dessert services to local parties and quinceañeras. She's also the devoted single mother of a 14-year-old daughter, Victoria. 

Ready to be inspired? Read our interview with the incredible Lourdes Nieto:

How did you get involved with the fight against human trafficking? 

Five years ago, I first heard about human trafficking. I was very heavily involved in a local church in Humboldt Park. I was part of a mission team, and we would have team meetings. That particular meeting, our director said that we were going to have a speaker coming in from India. I wasn't well-versed in what the issue was. All I remember before the meeting was looking through these pamphlets, and thinking, "This is terrible. I can't believe that this happens in my world."

When he came and talked to us, my eyes were opened. I just couldn't wrap my brain around it. I couldn't understand how a human being could use another human being for profit. At that point, I was all fired up. I wanted to get on a plane, and go to India. I was so fueled and on fire! 

I did research, and educated myself more. I came to realize -- especially being in the police department -- it happens here. It happens alot. I think back at the times I worked the South Side of Chicago, and how incidents that I ran into could've been human trafficking. So, five years later, I'm much more well-versed. That's why I try to educate other people. 

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Cristina Arreola, Editorial Assistant

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Cristina earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to BrooklynNew York. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking...), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or baking her favorite sweets. You can follow her on Twitter at @c_arreola

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