This problem may seem too close to home, but there are thousands of victims of human trafficking here in the state of Florida. It’s a University of South Florida student’s mission to end it.
With the help of the International Justice Mission, Katie French hopes to make an impact in her community.
“I really love International Justice Mission,” Katie said. “And one of the things I love about them is the way they view human trafficking as a solvable problem.”
Katie has been involved with IJM at USF, a student organization chapter of a larger international nonprofit organization that fights human trafficking world wide, for about three years now. At a Christmas concert event recently, Katie and other members of IJM were selling bracelets for Threads of Hope, a nonprofit that works in the Philippines with impoverish families.
“They try to create self sustaining income so people don’t resort to being trafficked or trafficking their children, which happens in the Philippines,” Katie said.
This is just one of the many nonprofit organizations that the IJM at USF supports. They also focus on raising awareness for the issues of human trafficking, raising funds for IJMs work abroad, advocating campaigns with petitioning legislation pushes and hosting prayer events because of their Christian affiliation.
While Katie is not involved in leadership this semester, she continues to provide a helping hand to other members of IJM. Cindy Navarette, friend and advertiser for the club, tells of how she can always depend on Katie.
“Even though she’s not a part of leadership anymore, she’s still right there with us helping us out as much as she can,” Cindy said.
Katie has high hopes for the future where she will one day open up her own church or ministry to help Samaria refugees in Atlanta, Georgia by using her public health degree as a way to build relationships and help the poor and oppressed.
“We really have such an obligation to help the poor,” Katie said. “And you know as a Christian that been a really big driving force for me. My faith has really kept me passionate about this cause.”