Snapshot- UT Alternative Break

 

This past weekend I had the honor of attending an Alternative Break put on by my university. Thirteen individuals were chosen for this trip to Miami to fight against human trafficking, specifically child sex trafficking. The alternative break was more focused on education and how we, as individuals, could help spread education and awareness. We did do a couple of hours of community outreach on Saturday. During this outreach, we broke into teams of three and walked around the neighborhood of Miami that we were staying in, walking into various businesses and simply asking if they had seen any of the missing children that we provided pictures of. If the employees responded “no,” then we encouraged them to take a picture of our flyer. During this outreach, we also encouraged store owners to be aware of the signs of trafficking and provided a flyer of some of the most easily identifiable signs associated with child sex trafficking.

I was so beyond happy to be selected as one of the few invited to go on this Alternative Break. I’ve previously completed an independent study dealing with human trafficking so I was worried I would not be chosen. It turns out that three individuals, myself included, were picked to go on this trip while the others selected either did not have experience or had very little knowledge of the subject. The three who had experience helped explain terms and laws regarding trafficking when our guide was overwhelmed or working with other individuals, but we also learned many more tips, tricks, and facts that we did not know before.

I greatly enjoyed this trip because it was all about “working smarter, not harder”, per the old colloquial saying. Human trafficking is such a large global issue; it’s hard to understand where to start, but why not start with yourself and your friend groups? Anyone can do community outreach, just as we did. It’s easy to talk to local law enforcement and ask, “What can I do?” I encourage everyone to visit https://polarisproject.org/ to learn more about human trafficking and what you can do, as an individual, to fight human trafficking. If you suspect that someone you know or see is a victim of human trafficking or that someone you know or see is a trafficker, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.