Who says you can’t be a productive member of society while looking good in front of the camera? An Iowa social worker who devoted her time to a nonprofit organization fighting human trafficking was booted from her job when her boss found out that she was an aspiring model.
23-year-old Taylor R. Wadsworth had worked at Youth & Shelter Services in West Des Moines for almost a year when she was canned in April, the Des Moines Register reported.
One of her key job responsibilities was educating young women about fraudulent classified ads that promised a quick entry into the modeling biz but were actually tools used by human traffickers to lure victims.
For years before she accepted the job at the nonprofit, though, Wadsworth had sat for several photo shoots and was even in consideration to appear on the reality TV series “America’s Next Top Model.” At no point was she ever told that her dreams of becoming a professional model would endanger her day job, state records show.
It wasn’t until Wadsworth was fired on April 1 that she learned about the supposed conflict of interests. She was recently awarded unemployment benefits by an administrative law judge who agreed that her modeling gigs would have had no impact on her nonprofit work; Youth & Shelter Services merely sent the judge a letter claiming that Wadsworth was “not a good fit” for the position.
Wadsworth – who has since found a new job as a treatment counselor at a nonprofit that provides mental health services for children and young adults – believes that she was uniquely qualified to help other aspiring models from putting themselves in dangerous circumstances.
“But I understand companies can fire people for pretty much any reason,” she told the newspaper. “I loved my job there and the education and experience I got in the short time I worked there.”
Over the weekend, a young model from Great Britain opened up about how she became a victim of human trafficking after a man she met at a fashion event in Italy turned out to be part of a sinister online operation.