Fighting for Their Smiles

DSCN1183My name is Vanessa Alexander. I’m a sophomore at the University of Indianapolis studying Social Work with a minor in Child and Youth Programs.  About six years ago my life was changed when I was exposed to the injustice of human trafficking.  Since then I have been blessed to have some awesome experiences that have grown my passion for fighting this injustice.  In high school I wanted to be a fashion designer, but as my dad opened my eyes to the horrors of this injustice, proving that something could be done, I decided to rethink how to spend my life.

When my dad founded Center for Global Impact (CGI), God started an amazing work. Two summers ago I had the opportunity to travel with CGI on a vision trip to Cambodia. My heart was filled with joy as I saw the faces of the precious young girls and sweet women working at seamstress workshops.  It once again solidified that I knew God was calling me to fight for their smiles!  In the past two years, I unfortunately haven’t been able to return to Cambodia but have been blessed to still stay connected with CGI.  Now I spend a few hours each week working in the CGI office.  Let me tell you…I LOVE IT! I have learned so much.

KEYS PictureMy best friend Lindsey has the same heart for the impoverished suffering from injustice. She also traveled to Cambodia whenI went two summers ago.  God grew our friendship and our passions in a way that prepared us to come to the University of Indianapolis as advocates against human trafficking.  Little did we know God was also working in five other students. Our paths soon crossed. Because of our passion about raising awareness for human trafficking, we decided to start Keys, a registered UIndy student organization focused on the injustice of human trafficking. So far we’ve shared what human trafficking means in each dormitory as well as selling byTavi products! Next semester I hope to be a “Campus Rep” for CGI, which will allow me to help more people get involved in fighting human trafficking.

As I reflect on the last few years, I realize how God has changed me, but never would I have expected Him to open so many doors. Human trafficking has recently become a hot topic. Yet, I think about how many people said, “No, I don’t know what it is.” I know I am not the only twenty-year-old who is hungry to make a difference. Sometimes it’s just hard to see that a difference can be made with statistics like twenty-seven million people currently trapped in slavery. CGI is making that number not look so daunting.  I know specific names of women and young girls who are having their lives changed. That is why I want to devote my life to fighting for these girls.  This year my goal is to make it known that YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  It doesn’t matter if you are only 20 years old. You can change the world.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,

but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

—1 Timothy 4:1

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