Bishop Kenny students assist human trafficking victims

Bishop Kenny students assist human trafficking victims
The Bishop Kenny Interact Club and its supporters stand by a pile of 25 backpacks that they are donating to local victims of human trafficking.

Representatives from World Relief and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office were on hand when Bishop Kenny High School’s Interact Club donated 25 backpacks for victims of human trafficking on the First Coast during a ceremony at the school.

Led by Ally Schneider and Lily El Hassan, members of the Bishop Kenny High School Interact Club donate 25 backpacks to victims of human trafficking on the First Coast.

Led by Ally Schneider and Lily El Hassan, members of the Bishop Kenny High School Interact Club donate 25 backpacks to victims of human trafficking on the First Coast.

Ally Schneider and Lily El Hassan, both sophomores at the school, led the presentation. Schneider awarded thank-you trophies to representatives of Land’s End and Baker’s Sporting Goods, which sponsored the event.

The backpacks were given because victims who are taken off the streets may not be able to return to collect their belongings. Each backpack was stuffed with personal items, clothing, toiletries and a journal. The students felt supplying a journal would help victims realize that there is both hope and a way out of this form of modern slavery.

“Our students were shocked to learn that human trafficking is so common in North Florida and were especially moved to hear that so many of the victims are in their age group,” said Chris Ball of Ortega, an Interact sponsor and AP World History teacher at Bishop Kenny.

Ally Schneider awards Brad Brooks of Baker’s Sporting Goods with a trophy.

Ally Schneider awards Brad Brooks of Baker’s Sporting Goods with a trophy.

The students became interested in helping victims of trafficking after Bishop Estevez of the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine expressed “a need to help irradiate this human tragedy.”

During the presentation, Annmarie Kent-Willette, Education Commissioner for Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, read a letter from the Mayor’s office commemorating the student’s efforts. “We like to highlight service projects that involve youth,” Kent-Willette said. “We want to work to help them become full participants in democracy within our community.”

On hand to witness the event were Fred Jones of Land’s End; Brad Brooks of Baker’s Sporting Goods; Michelle Crowe of World Relief, and Jackson Short of the Sheriff’s Office.

By Marcia Hodgson
News Editor

Annmarie Kent-Willette of the Mayor’s office and Lauren Toledo of Bishop Kenny hold a letter from the Mayor commending the school’s Interact Club for its contribution to victims of human trafficking.

Annmarie Kent-Willette of the Mayor’s office and Lauren Toledo of Bishop Kenny hold a letter from the Mayor commending the school’s Interact Club for its contribution to victims of human trafficking.

Ford Jones and Ally Schneider

Ford Jones and Ally Schneider

Ford Jones of Land’s End, Brad Brooks of Baker’s Sporting Goods and Bishop Kenny Principal Todd Orlando

Ford Jones of Land’s End, Brad Brooks of Baker’s Sporting Goods and Bishop Kenny Principal Todd Orlando

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