Our Youth Against Child Trafficking (Y-ACT) Program is designed to educate, empower and develop the leadership skills of young people. Through our workshops, students learn about the facts, misconceptions and risks of trafficking and are given the tools needed to identify the warning signs and resources to protect themselves and their peers. Y-ACT empowers youth to be the voices of their communities who are advocating against the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.
In order to assess the impact of the Y-ACT program pre and post testing is used to examine the net change in overall comprehension and understanding of the material. Recently, we analyzed student responses from these tests from the 2017-2018 academic year and compiled them into a new report. The program reached 2,187 students in public and private schools throughout NYC.
The report shows students have a 23% increase in an understanding of child sex trafficking. Alongside this increase in understanding, students shared how the workshop impacts their lives. One student said “I liked how we learned something so severe is going on. Sex trafficking is a serious problem that can happen to anyone including me.” The report highlights that students believe these programs are useful in their lives as 83% of students say they will use information from the healthy relationships workshop in their personal lives. It is not only students that believe the program is useful, but teachers as well. Ninety-three percent of teachers said the child trafficking workshop was “extremely useful” for their students.
The 2017-2018 impact report highlights the increase in knowledge, awareness, and desire to learn more from the workshops. But one student’s comments highlights what this program is all about. This student wrote, “today's lesson was really interesting and made me interested in this kind of topic. I wasn’t thinking about this kind of issue before. I wasn’t paying attention but now I will and I’m interested. I want to hear more; I want to know more.” YACT has been a catalyst for this student and thousands of others to understand and advocate on the issue of child sex trafficking.