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Who We Are

Our Agency

We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization located in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. We work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to Provide Hope, Healing, and Restoration to lives impacted by Human Trafficking.

The BTC campuses are a remarkable example of our community’s dedication to helping juvenile and adult victims exit re-occurring systems of exploitation. BTC operates a beautiful, safe house that provides long term shelter to lives impacted by human trafficking, a trauma treatment center that is equipped with an executive office, reception area, counseling offices, a large classroom/recreation area, childcare center, and a gym; law enforcement focused impact center, ER shelter, mobile command unit, and newly opened rural community offices. Our stellar trauma-informed services and evidence-based curriculums are operated by an army of volunteers and 12 paid staff members. This allows us to offer trauma-informed services regularly to an average of 75 survivors and their family’s every day. It has been amazing to see the vision launched just seven years prior come to life in such a short period. Please know that community support has been and continues to be essential to all that we do, and we believe that together we can break the chains of human trafficking in the lives of these precious survivors forever.

Our Founders
Debra Rush
Debra Rush
Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Debra Rush is the Founder and CEO of Breaking the Chains. Her insight and experience into this daunting industry are the driving force behind Breaking the Chains’ founding. Debra, too, is a survivor of human trafficking. In 1999, she was rescued and taken to a confidential location, which isolated her from the region where she had been held captive. Unfortunately, at that time, no avenues or efforts were in place to expose human trafficking, and there were limited resources available to help her cope with the specific trauma she had endured. In 2008, after years of guilt and shame, she found the courage and strength to begin her healing journey. This spurred her quest to rescue individuals trapped in human trafficking and who may believe there is no way out. Debra, who has a degree in Human Services, works closely with the Fresno Police Department’s Trafficking Task Force. She is an alcohol and drug counselor and a national trauma expert. Debra has gained notoriety as a passionate community leader, a proud alumnus of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Fresno Class XXXIII (33). She humbly holds the 2018 California State Woman of the Year and has just become a published author. Although she has accomplished much since her transformation, Debra’s most cherished achievement is being the proud wife of Mark Rush and the doting mother of seven beautiful children.

Tiffany Apodaca
Tiffany Apodaca
Co–Founder / Chief Operational Officer

Tiffany Apodaca is the Co-Founder and Chief Operational Officer for Breaking the Chains. Her passion stems from the subjection to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that she experienced as a child – abuse that started at the young age of four and continued into her late teens. As a result of these assaults on her mind, soul, spirit, and innocence, Tiffany became drug dependent, homeless, and a flawed decision maker which led to her entering into one unhealthy relationship after another. Through divine providence, Tiffany received wise counsel, and now, speaks publicly about her journey, bringing hope and healing to women who, too, have been subjected to sexual abuse. Tiffany has a certificate through Courage World Wide International for CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children), which complements her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership through Grand Canyon University. Tiffany Apodaca is the adoring wife of Tony Apodaca, and dedicated mom of five daughters and soon to be six grandchildren.

Our Team
Jennifer Duarte
Jennifer Duarte
Human Resources
Tawney Chenot
Tawney Chenot
Juvenile Services program Manager
Sybil Kolbert
Sybil Kolbert
Trauma Programing Facilitator
Dominique Brown
Dominique Brown
CSEC Prevention Education Specialist
Carol Bertuccelli
Carol Bertuccelli
On Campus Crisis Counselor
Jacky Zavala
Jacky Zavala
Non-Residential Case Manager/Victim Advocate
Jacqueline Flores
Jacqueline Flores
Residential Case Manager/Victim Advocate
Cynthia Lawrence
Cynthia Lawrence
Case Management Supervisor
Sarai Cardenas-Yanez
Sarai Cardenas-Yanez
BTC's Parlier Campus - Case Manager
Jessica Leon
Jessica Leon
Juvenile Services Case Manager
Bernadette Aganza
Bernadette Aganza
House Manager Supervisor

How awesome is it to get to do life with our incredible survivors!  Bernadette is attentive, caring, and always willing to be a shoulder to those who need her the most. We love our Mama B!

Nick Schulman
Nick Schulman
Donations Manager - House Manager
Alexis Jaime
Alexis Jaime
House Manager
Malissa Schartoff
Malissa Schartoff
CSEC Services Education Specialist - House Manager

BTC Board of Directors

Don Eskes - Board President
Mark Salazar - Vice President
Richard Herrinton - Board Treasurer
Sandra Carnahan - Board Secretary
Paco Balderrama - Fresno City Police Chief
Soyla Griffin - CEO, Valley Health Team
Nick Yovino - Retired City of Fresno Planning and Development Director
Miiko Anderson - Fresno County Assistant District Attorney
Darius Assemi - Granville Homes President

Our Partners