Our founder Abbi Tenaglia's passion for victims of exploitation and the injustice that can lead to human trafficking began long before Transforming Hope.
Through her own journey of exploitation, addiction, abuse, pain, and ultimately, a desire to end her life, she understands the tragedy of deep pain but also the profound healing that the relentless and overwhelming love of a Savior can offer to anyone, no matter how separated we feel.
Abbi's story begins in a small, suburban town in northern Indiana surrounded by strong family, community, and religious connections. Unfortunately, her desire to experience life outside of her family's protection led her down a dark road beginning with a fairly unknown online connection taking her 700 miles away from home and ending in a sexually exploitative situation. This resulted in over 10 years of pain, addiction, abuse, and an ultimate desire to end her life, while also managing broken family ties, homelessness, financial instability, and being a single mother to her daughter, Emma.
However, in June 2009, by God's grace and His constant pursuit, Abbi ended up in a local church in Durham, NC. Little did she know that God would use the community of newhope church to draw her heart to Him so that she could see who her Savior truly was and accept His freedom, saving her life and the life of her then 3 year old daughter.
Shortly after, Abbi heard Christine Caine speak about the global state of human trafficking and knew immediately what her calling from Christ was for her life. She founded Transforming Hope in November, 2010 and has committed her life to ending injustice of all forms and empowering others to embrace the joy of freedom in Christ.
Abbi has earned an A.A. in Accounting from Durham Technical Community College and a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. She currently manages the offices of Carolina Wealth Stewards and Third Wheel Media in Durham and uses her degree and experience in accounting to assist small business owners and nonprofits with their bookkeeping. Carolina Wealth Stewards generously donates some of Abbi's time and some office space back to Transforming Hope, as well.
Abbi leads Vend Raleigh's sub-group for nonprofits, sits on the Expert Advisory Board for Project NO REST's 2017 School Initiative, offers coaching to individuals interested in starting a nonprofit, and serves in the cafe at her church.
During down time, Abbi is typically at home with her daughter and their Beagle-Cocker Spaniel mix named Skyler, on a beach, reading a nonfiction book, or enjoying fresh seafood for dinner before watching "Remember the Titans" or a UNC men's basketball game. Go Heels!