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Hampton High School students raise awareness of human trafficking

Within the framework of Hampton High School's (HHS) International Baccalaureate (IB) Academy and the Academies of Hampton, students have engaged in project-based learning focused on raising awareness and aiding victims of human trafficking. 

In an effort to educate themselves regarding human trafficking, IB students met with a variety of community partners to increase their capacity to spread awareness for human trafficking. Students met with Dede Wallace from the Department of Homeland Security who is a victim witness advocate. Wallace offered valuable insights into the lives of victims’ post-removal from their unfortunate circumstances. Students also met with Officer Quillen and Officer Bertram from the Hampton Police Division who played a vital role by offering valuable information, data, and connecting students with essential community resources. Hampton Police donated 60 backpacks for students to fill with essential items to aid human trafficking victims. Furthermore, students met with an FBI supervisory special agent who gave a presentation to 250 Hampton students about human trafficking, internet safety, and the dangers of sharing personal information with others. 

Students sold snacks (candy, chips, cookies, drinks) to raise funds to purchase items to support victims of human trafficking. During their fundraising efforts students distributed informational handouts regarding human trafficking to raise awareness. These handouts educated students from all four high schools about the signs of human trafficking, what human trafficking is, and how to report it.

Students partnered with Walmart Supercenter in Hampton who facilitated a shopping experience for them to acquire essential items (e.g., feminine hygiene products, socks, underwear, deodorant, sheets, blankets, diapers, fidgets) intended for victims of human trafficking. All collected items will be donated to Transitions Family Violence Services, an organization dedicated to supporting human trafficking victims in Hampton. 

“This project has demonstrated to me that we can achieve anything as a community when we all come together to accomplish a common goal,” shared Damien Collins, academy principal at HHS. “Hampton City Schools has an abundance of talented students and our community partners are extremely valuable. Together we will continue to bring awareness of human trafficking in our area and decrease the likelihood of someone becoming a victim.”

Haley, an IB student, stated, "This project will allow others to be smart, be safe, and be in the know. It is a way for me to feel like I'm making an impact on the world. As a young female it reminds me to be more cautious of my surroundings. This project lets others know that even a small group of high schoolers can make a difference on this topic. I think this project will let the victims know that there are people out in the world that don't even know them that care.”