I have been passionate about human trafficking for the past four years, and have been involved as a volunteer with various local non-profit organizations such as Daysprings Villa and No Boundaries International that are working to combat human trafficking. Since coming to the University of Oklahoma, I have become even more involved in the fight to end modern slavery and am currently in the process of co-planning the Off The Market Symposium (OTM) that will be hosted by the University of Oklahoma later this year to promote awareness about the issue of human trafficking, the various forms that it can take, and how students can get involved to help end it. I also joined ENACTUS this year, a national organization that seeks to combine business with charity to promote more sustainable methods of giving, and am partnering with No Boundaries International and the Beautiful Dreams Society to help raise awareness and financial support for these two organizations and sex trafficking on the local, national, and international scales.
I have known that I wanted to devote my life to help end human trafficking since hearing about the issue through the End It Movement during my sophomore year of high school. However, it wasn’t until this past year that I decided exactly what form I wanted my efforts to take. After doing some extensive research into the US Department of Homeland Security, I have decided that pursuing a job within DHS is the most productive way that I can combat trafficking. Over the past five years DHS has initiated various human trafficking initiatives including the Blue Campaign in 2010 and Project STAMP; each of these enterprises have been proven to be well worth while, and I cannot think of a more meaningful cause to devote my life to.
I hope that in joining the Department of Homeland Security I will be able to further the United States efforts to rescue victims of trafficking and bring just punishments to those responsible for their trafficking. I believe that we can eradicate modern slavery and free the 27-million people currently enslaved by the end of the 21st century. However, I think that in order for this to happen it is essential that we look to all corners of the world, and insure that no form of slavery is allowed to persist in any region of the world. It comes as no surprise that human trafficking is often most prominent in war torn regions such as the Middle East, and in order to stop this atrocity it is essential that we provide assistance to the people currently living as refugees across that region of the world. It is with this in mind that I have decided to study abroad to become fluent in Arabic and study abroad in Turkey. This may seem strange, seeing as Arabic is not a prominent language in Turkey. However, with the significant influx of Syrian refugees that are currently displaced within the country, Arabic is becoming more and more prominent.
Turkey is currently hosing over 1-million Syrian refugees – all of which are severely impoverished and thus are also highly susceptible to trafficking. I believe that by traveling to Turkey I will be able to learn the culture of many middle-eastern people and will thus be able to better relate to them. I think that it is of the utmost importance to be able to fully understand a culture when trying to help a community. While in Turkey, I plan to simultaneously continue learning Arabic and begin to use this language when communicating with people living throughout the Middle East while also volunteering to aid these vast populations of refugees. I believe that I will be able to apply what I learn while abroad to the rest of my college career, my potential career in the Department of Homeland Security, and the rest of my life.