Please consider contacting your State Representative and Senator in support of House Bill 665 and Senate Bill 286: Human Trafficking Education in Schools.
The bills would revise the required health education in public schools to include information regarding the dangers and signs of human trafficking; authorizing a student to opt out of a specified portion of the health education under certain circumstances.
The human trafficking education portion of the health curriculum shall include, but is not limited to, information on the warning signs of human trafficking, terms used by traffickers, red flags that would indicate a trafficker’s malicious intent toward a student, websites that are popular with traffickers, and details on how a student may get help.
A student may elect to opt out of the instruction of this portion of the health education by providing the school with a written note from his or her parent.
Florida ranks 3rd in the U.S. for human trafficking crimes reported to the National Human Trafficking Center. We need to inform and protect our most vulnerable children. Education provided in the public school system will help inform and educate our children, their parents, and our school personnel. HB 665 and SB 286 will provide the platform for that essential education.
Most graduates enter the post-college world with a healthy dose of fear and excitement. There’s the excitement that has steadily been bubbling its way into our minds over the past four years. We’ve realized that the real world is full of opportunities that we will finally be able to pursue unfettered by a lingering feeling that we were, to some extent, still children wearing our mom’s high heels or our dad’s oversized business jacket. We have become increasingly aware and excited that those heels and jackets actually belong to us now. What seems even crazier is that they actually fit now.
For me, it wasn’t until the week of graduation that it really hit me what the ramifications of having my own while walking through Old Campus. No, it was the realization that I was going to lose everything I’d come to love so dearly over the past four years. No longer would I walk through campus with access to all the buildings that house some of the happiest memories of my college career. No longer would I be able to walk five minutes in any direction to see some of my closest friends with whom I’ve grown so much.
George W Pierson wrote a book called Yale: A Short Story, and he begins the foreword by saying: “Yale is at one a tradition, a company of scholars, a society of friends.” The fear that lurked in the shadows of Yale’s gothic architecture really stemmed from the idea that I was about to be forced out of this company and had no idea when I’d see some of those friends again. So over the past couple of weeks since graduation, I immersed myself in my excitement about my new job with the Women’s Foundation, completely ignoring how much I missed my friends and the familiarity of Yale.
But I’ve realized over the past few days that Yale never really leaves you. In immersing myself in this data project, I’m still a part of that company of scholars. The wonderful Yale Club of Southwest Florida is partially underwriting this project and making it possible for me to work with the Women’s Foundation and the Human Trafficking Task Force this summer. It is comforting to know that as an alumna I have now become part of a new company that is just as supportive and just as motivated to make a positive impact as my friends at Yale were.
This truth hit me hard when I was at a Yale Club event celebrating the local high schoolers who were recently admitted to Yale. While singing ‘Bright College Years’ (Yale’s alma mater) I just started crying. I was crying because I felt a profound sense of loss that I wouldn’t be moving back into my dorm with my friends in the fall. But I was also crying because I was so thankful to have had the chance to meet those friends and to continue to be part of the Yale community, albeit in a different way. Most importantly, I was so thankful that the alumni of the Yale Club showed me that although my bright college years are over, the future is equally bright, if not brighter and it’s time to move forward and make a difference in the world.
So I would like to send the most heartfelt thank you to all the members of the Yale Club of Southwest Florida for making this project possible. Thank you for believing that fighting human trafficking is a cause worth supporting. And thank you for reminding me that graduation was not the end, but rather a beginning.
“But time and change shall not avail
To break the friendships formed at Yale.”
-Bright College Years
Women around the world are main contributors to to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. We have made countless strides in the past years towards achieving equality. However, it is predicted that:
This is why we celebrate International Women’s Day #IWD2016 – To #Pledgeforparity and commit to taking concrete steps to help achieve the worldwide goal of gender parity.
Make a pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity –
Tell us how you plan to pledge for party by using the hashtags #Pledgeforparity #IWD2016