More than 200 alumni, faculty, staff, students, and community supporters woke up early on Saturday, January 27 to participate in the 2nd Annual Walk for Awareness to End Human Trafficking. This 5K, which recognizes January as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, draws attention to human trafficking as a clear and present threat to individuals, communities, and our country.

Before the walk, survivor Vanessa Alvarado spoke candidly of her heartbreaking story of being trafficked by people she both knew and trusted which endured over 15 years. Now, Vanessa has emerged as a fearless survivor and speaks to audiences far and wide to educate them about the coercive mechanisms that make human trafficking possible, while guiding them on how to recognize trafficking and trafficked individuals. She thanked the Broward College community for coming together to bring attention to this insidious crime that is happening in our backyard.

Following Vanessa’s presentation, participants munched on snacks provided by the Seahawk Marketplace and got energized for the 5k walk with a Zumba workout led by Broward College professor Mirella Baker Bemmel.

We congratulate Broward College alumna Phillipa Vassell, for organizing another successful 5K Walk for Awareness.

“I felt proud of the attendees who came from all walks of life—students, professionals, survivors, advocates, and community leaders—and the way we came together united in the common goal of shining a light on this pervasive issue. In the end, we were left more empowered to act to end the demand for human trafficking.”

We thank our Broward College family who participated, with special gratitude to those who made gifts to the Social Behavioral Studies and Human Services scholarship. If you would like to invest in student success and contribute to the SBSHS scholarship, click here.