You are on page 1of 3

AbbyHarrod

ProjectSERVESpeechOutline
Hello,mynameisAbbyHarrod,andIdidmyprojectserveonraisingawarenessforhuman
trafficking

Letmegiveyouanumber:
27MILLION
thatsaprettybignumber.Howcanweputthat
numberintoperspective?Well,ifyouhad27millionpeople
standtogetherandholdhands
,
theywould
looparoundtheglobe
1time.
27million
isalsothe
estimatednumberofpeople
bondedintomodernslaverytoday
.
Letmegiveyouanothernumber:
150.2BILLIONDOLLARS.
Thatisthe
estimatedamount
ofmoneytheslavetradegenerates
eachyear.Thatsmorethanth
eyearlyrevenuesof
Amazon,Google,andEbaycombined.
Itwasshockingstatisticslikethesethatledmetoraiseawarenessontheotherwiseinvisible
causeofHumanTrafficking

Ifirstbecameeducatedonthistopicinmyjunioryear.Myenglishclasswastaskedwithdoinga
researchpaperonanybookthathadtodowithsomecontroversialissue.ThebookIchosewas
onchildtraffickinginNepal.Itwasunsurprisingtomethatsuchathingwashappeningina3rd
worldcountry,butIwasshockedwhenIlearnedthatitwashappeningintheUSA,andinour
ownbackyard.ThusmymindwasopenedandIbecameinterestedandpassionateonthematter.
Iamalreadyaveryhumanitarianpersonmyself,someonewholikestobeobservantofworld
matters,andcurrentevents.Iknewmymissionwasnowtosharemyfindingstothosearound
me.

Myprojectconsistedofvisitingvariousclassesoncampusandgivingpresentationsonthebasics
ofhumantraffickingtothestudents.Thepresentationtouchedontopicssuchasthestructureof
thebusiness,thequeercommunityinhumantrafficking,anddifferentwaystohelpcombatit.
Dependingonthestudentsparticipation,mypresentationwentanywherefrom20to45minutes
inlength.Ioftenhadstudentsguessonstatistics,andmanyquestionswereaskedespeciallyin
theolderjuniorandseniorclasses.
Beforethepresentation,IhandedoutlittlenotecardstothestudentsinwhichIhadthemwrite
downprosandconsofmypresentation,aswellasthemostinterestingfacttheylearned,ora
questiontheydidnotfeelcomfortableaskingoutloud.Thisprovidedgreatconstructivecriticism
forme,moretopicsforresearch,aswellasmuchwelcomedencouragement.

AnotherthingIparticipatedinduringmyprojectwastheEndItNowmovement.Itwasanevent
heldonFebruary27thtohelpraisemoneyandawarenessformodernslavery.Iendedupraising
around$80.Onthedayoftheevent,IcametoschoolwithredXspaintedonmyfaceandhands

insolidaritywithshiningalightonslavery.Igottoinformpeopleoftheissuewhentheyasked
meabouttheXsonmyself.

Mymentorwasahugehelpforthisprojectwitheducatingmeonwhathumantraffickingislike
insonomacounty.MymentorsnameisBillBrockley:heistheChiefDeputyDistrictAttorney
ofSonomaCounty,aswellastheheadoftheSonomaCountyHumanTraffickingTaskForce.
Heintroducedmetothefactthatmostpeoplewhoaretraffickedherearentactuallyfrom
SonomaCounty.Mostpeoplearebroughtinfromdifferentcities,states,orevencountries,and
traffickedaroundacircuitofdifferentcities.

Thebiggestchallengeformyprojectwasdefinitelytimemanagement.Ididnotstartonmy
projectuntilverylateintheschoolyearhowever,onceIgotmyfootintheground,Iwasableto
getmyselfbackontrackandfinishtheproblem.
Schedulingwithteachersprovedtobeabitofanissueaswell,sincetheydohavetheirown
curriculumtoteach,andIwasgivingthemveryshortnoticeforthepresentations.
Technologywasabotheraswell,whetheritwasdealingwithslowinternet,ornotbeingableto
hookthecomputeruptotheprojector.Foronepresentation,Ihadtogivethewholething
withouttheslideshow,allbymemory,andIwasveryproudofmyselfbecauseIhadbecomeso
familiarwithmytopic,thatthewordsflowedeasily,andIwasabletorespondtomore
questions.

Mytriumphsnotonlyincludedmyheightenedknowledge,butalsothereactionsIreceivedfrom
thestudents.ManyofmypeerswouldtellmehowhappytheywerethatIwasraisingawareness
onsuchaninvisiblebutcontroversialmatter,andthemanyquestionsIwasaskedtoldmethat
theyweregenuinelyinterestedorimpactedbythesubject.Thatwasthegoal:toinfluencethose
aroundme.

Ihavedefinitelylearnedthatinordertogetyourideaacrosstohighschoolersinorderto
influencethemtomakeachangeyouhavetospeakup,youhavetobeconfidentontheideayou
aretryingtogetacross,andyouhavetoputemotionintoit.ProjectSERVEhastaughtmethatif
youdontdothis,therewillbenoonetheretolisten.

Soitremainsthatunlessyoudosomethingunlessyouspeakup,nothingisgoingtochange.I
challengeyou,theaudience,totakesomethingfromthispresentationwhetheritsanew
statisticorfact,orasenseofmotivationanduseit.Dontbesilent,dontbeignorant,anddont
ignorewhatishappeningrightinfrontofyou.InordertocombatHumanTraffickingand
modernslavery,wehavetoshinealightonit.wehavetomakeitvisible,andallittakesis
spreadingtheword.

LetitnotbesaidthatIwassilentwhentheyneededme.