I was honored to speak to 200 college freshman at Sonoma State University this Spring. Their "Global Challenges & Identities' course spans two semesters, and helps first year students adapt to college life as they start to get a deeper understanding of themselves and the world we live in.
My guest lecture was two parts: First, an hour speaking to the entire class in an auditorium setting, talking about my story, human trafficking & how the anti-trafficking movement sometimes misunderstands the very problem it is trying to solve. Later in the day, there was a 'round table' style question & answer session. The room was full, and the questions were fantastic - challenging, curious & caring. One young woman asked for career advice; she wanted to go into law enforcement & was interested in working trafficking cases. Another student shared she had been in a relationship that involved abuse - and didn't realize it until hearing my talk.
As I drove through beautiful Northern California on my way home, my heart was full, my mind inspired. I love being in college settings; I never had anything like a 'normal' experience in my twenties, and being around young people working to find their way in this life always sparks my interest and curiosity. Knowing I helped at least one person to more deeply understand an important (although unhealthy) relationship from her past - these are the interactions that keep me coming back to work.