Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary | Generosity rooted in pride, remembrance, dedication to home

Learn more

Eyes Up Appalachia Fund — Team Bios

Christi Scott Bartman has been involved in anti-human trafficking efforts in Ohio for over a decade. Working areas such as law, legislation and advocacy, she saw the need for even more dedicated effort. In order to do that, she left her position as Director of Public Administration, Public Policy and Legal Studies at American Public University System and now operates as a compassionate catalyst to push for better ways to address human trafficking and the vulnerabilities that underlie it – specifically poverty and lack of education. In 2021 she received The Social Justice Leader Award from the University of Toledo’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute, was a semi-finalist in the Everyday Heroes of Central Ohio and was chosen as one of the inaugural fellows for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. She served as the Co-Chair of the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission Research/Gap and Data Analysis Subcommittee until January 2022. Christi holds an undergraduate degree in business from Appalachian State University, a Master of Public Administration from Troy State University (achieved while on active duty in the Air Force), a law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law and a PhD in Policy History from Bowling Green State University. She is also a Certified Professional Coach and an Air Force veteran. You can reach her at

Vanessa Perkins‘ story begins in the small town of Nelsonville, Ohio where she was sexually abused for years and began coping from a young age with drugs and alcohol. She was eventually trafficked in Columbus, where she also became involved with the criminal justice system. Her last arrest in 2009 afforded her the opportunity to opt into CATCH Court, a specialized docket for survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking.

For many years, Vanessa was trapped within the dark world of sex trafficking in Columbus, Ohio. Through programs like CATCH Court specialized docket and Freedom a la Cart, she was able to focus on her own healing and recovery and begin her journey of personal freedom and economic independence.  Her impressive career has developed full circle — from Freedom a la Cart’s job training,  to the Columbus City Attorney’s office, then to Bailiff for Judge Paul Herbert and CATCH Court, and now back to Freedom a la Cart to manage their growing workforce development program for survivors.

Vanessa has educated thousands of people on the subject of sex trafficking and trauma, presenting at conferences such as the End Violence Against Women International conference, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals national conference, and the International Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference. Vanessa is most definitely a Survivor/Thriver Leader, paving the way for other survivors behind and beside her.