The Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society Chapter at Holliston High School is bringing two speakers to educate the freshman advisory groups about human trafficking Friday, April 5.
“We’re going to have a freshman advisory day where we send all the freshmen and the SALs down to the auditorium and give the speech then,” said junior Ashani Kurukulasuriya, who brought the Global Health Society to HHS this year.
Speakers Danielle Nicole and Stacy Reed are licensed social workers who work at the RIA House, an organization based in Boston that works to support women who have been victims of the sex trade.
By bringing in the speakers, the club hopes that everyone who listens to the speech will become more aware of human trafficking.
“It’s something that if students are aware that this is going on, they can be sure that they’re always protecting themselves and protecting the people around them,” said English teacher Ms. Becky McLean, the faculty advisor of the Global Health Society.
From what the members of the club have learned, human trafficking is definitely occurring. They were surprised that it can be found in places people would least expect.
“A lot of people think that it happens in third world countries, or it happens in countries where you would most expect it, but contrary to that belief, it is actually very prevalent in the United States,” said Kurukulasuriya.
McLean believes that, like herself, students will be surprised by how close to home this issue is.
“I’ve just been learning just how prevalent it is, which is really scary, so I think the speakers coming to talk to the freshmen will be really eye-opening for them,” said Ms. McLean.
Freshman Ariel Kilgore admitted that she doesn’t know that much about human trafficking, but she expressed an interest in hearing what the speakers have to say. She believes that global health topics like human trafficking are important for freshmen to learn about.
The club has been busy researching human trafficking using a variety of online resources in preparation for their presentation at the Harvard Global Health and Leadership Conference Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7.
Human trafficking is just one of the two issues the club is planning to speak about at the conference. They are also researching food insecurity, which affects people both in Holliston and around the world.
The Global Health Society is hopeful that they can use the work they are doing to inspire others to help those in need.
“For us as high school students, we’re going to be members of society pretty soon, and we should have the tools and knowledge which we need to be able to better the place that we live,” said Kilgore.
featured image: Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society