The best thing about spring semester in college—Spring Break! It seems to come at the right time and everyone seems to have amazing plans of getting away, getting tan, and hanging out with friends for a week—everyone except students who participate in alternative breaks.
Alternative breaks is a program that most colleges and universities in America engage in, in some capacity where during academic breaks, like spring break, students choose to participate in community service trips and address social issues that affect our world.
Last week, during my spring break, I actually led a team of 12 students on an alternative break to address the issue of human trafficking in Washington DC, the second highest location of human trafficking in the country. We learned, volunteered, advocated, and spread awareness on the issue.
Although the trip was great, we were working on a pretty heavy topic. The saddest part was when we went to Representative Chris Smith’s office and we were told why the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was not reauthorized yet—a bill the Columban Center has been fighting for, for quite some time. Because of the financial crisis, the TVPA has been pushed down on the list of legislative priorities so much that even Representative Smith, who created and highly advocates for the bill, is finding difficulty in pushing it through to Congress.
It is sad to me to see an issue that I am so passionate about and that the Columbans care so much for becomes insignificant because those who create our laws would rather pursue their personal interests first. At the end of the day, human trafficking is about the quality of a human life which should always be the number one priority.
*The content of these blogs are the personal reflections of the author and do not represent official Columban positions or statements