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Youth4Abolition™ Human Trafficking Awareness Event: two high schools, two school systems, two states

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Published February 20, 2019

Youth4Abolition™ (Y4A) student chapter members from Olympic High School in Charlotte, N.C. and Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill, S.C. banded together at Good Shepard Church on January 12th for the first annual ‘Pancakes for Freedom’ breakfast fundraiser in support of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  Over 50 Youth4Abolition™ students from both schools focused on teamwork to carry out the fundraiser, which included preparing and serving breakfast, presenting the latest research on domestic minor sex trafficking and hosting a panel discussion of community experts on the issue.

“Globally, human trafficking, which includes sex, labor and organ trafficking, generates more profit than Nike, Starbucks and Google combined, over $150 billion annually,” quoted one student, a statistic from the International Labour Organization. “Sex trafficking in the United States is a large part of that profit,” she said.

Statistics like these may come as a shock to many, and they demonstrate the magnitude of this still much hidden issue. Youth4Abolition™ is a non-profit organization that hosts a network of clubs and chapters featuring a peer-to-peer led curriculum taught by trained student volunteer leaders in high schools, churches and community groups. Having the facts and the tools to share knowledge helps students spread awareness and prevent domestic minor sex trafficking in their communities. Many of the event attendees were families and teens who showed their support in addressing the issue, including the Olympic High School men’s basketball team.

“Anyone can become a victim. Once someone my age is educated, they should spread the word to help prevent it from happening to kids in the future,” said Y4A Chapter President at Nation Ford High School.

Funds raised from the event go to support On Eagles Wings (OEW), a 501(c)(3) non-profit and parent organization of Youth4Abolition™ that provides aftercare services for female victims ages 12 to 21 through the region’s only CARF certified residential safe house for domestic minor victims of human trafficking.

To illustrate the impact of efforts made, students from these high schools have worked with Youth4Abolition™ Social Media Director, Mamie Neely, to produce a series of original YouTube videos titled, ‘This isn’t My Story but it Could Be’ telling the stories of real-life minor sex-trafficking survivors. The latest released video tells Lena’s story. Click the button below to view Lena’s story.

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