Reaching One And Teaching One

Several years ago while teaching and mentoring a group of middle school students at a Metro Atlanta project based learning school, the subject of slavery came up. One very astute student shocked the class by saying "slavery is abolished, but it still goes on in our country. It's called "Human Trafficking."

I jumped at the opportunity to expand his thoughts, and develop an entirely new subject matter.

Students wanted to know what it looked like, how it could be prevented, and how would they know if they saw it? Needless to say this was a very controversial topic and had to be presented carefully to a class of 11-14 year olds, who were shocked to learn that many of the scantily-clad girls, we saw in videos and pictures standing on street corners, and outside of seedy hotels, were their age. Some were even more aghast to learn this is crime that does not discriminate because of gender, boys also are targeted by human traffickers. as well as undocumented immigrants.

When my students learned that Metro Atlanta is one of the worse areas for human trafficking they wanted to learn more, so I reached out and found several organizations that try to help those who are trapped by the horror that is modern-day slavery.

Some of those students are now seniors in high school preparing for college. Occasionally I will hear from several and they thank me for bringing the topic of human trafficking to their attention. In fact, one told me about a term paper they had written about the subject, which inspired further discussion about modern day slavery. I have even heard from a couple parents telling me they now feel comfortable addressing the subject.

The worldwide numbers are staggering, disturbing, and frightening. The prevention, and awareness of Human Trafficking will absolutely be a part of my new project- Swagger National Youth Mentoring Project. For more details go to put my name in the search box. Or it can be accessed from my Facebook page. Anything you can do to help in our efforts would be much appreciated.

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