Rio YPI service reflection

Rio Hope-Gund

Jamie Lieberman

World History 9



YPI Service Reflection

            My group over all wanted to empower young people to stand up for themselves and speak for themselves.  That was how we choose human sex trafficking.  We really wanted to help people who thought they were nothing and not important to feel loved and cared about.  That is why we chose GEMS.  GEMS stands for Girls Education & Mentoring Services and it helps girls from the ages of 12-24 who have been in the sex trafficking industry and need help.  Their founder and executive director Rachel Lloyd was in the sex trafficking industry in England where she grew up, and she came to the USA to help girls that were like her.  GEMS are a small business but making a lot of progress and growing very quickly.

When I started this project, I thought sex trafficking was a very small thing and I thought that it was not that important.  As my group and I progressed, I think we all learned how big of an issue it is not only in the United States, but in the world.  I also did not know that there were girls being trafficked at ages as young as six or seven.  Researching this issue and learning about it in more detail really changed my view on sex trafficking.  I think my groups site visit was very challenging because GEMS do such a good job of keeping their girls protected and safe so we did not get to meet any of the girls and they did not let us go in their offices or main building.  Even though that was difficult, it really shows how much these people want to protect these girls in need.  When we visited the GEMS offices, we met two women who were very connected with some of the girls and really wanted to help the people that they worked with.  Immediately I felt like I wanted to help with this issue just as they were.  My group did a lot of research and we really put in a lot of work because we felt that more people in the world should know about this issue and more people should start to help to fight against sex trafficking.  When my group won the five thousand dollars, it was very rewarding for me because I felt like I had really helped some of the young girls who were in such difficult positions in their lives.


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