A WASHINGTON STATE SUCCESS STORY

FILE UNDER: Prevention

People often want to know how iEmpathize manages to get exploitation prevention programming in front of youth at schools and other youth-serving environments. It’s true that in less than two years, The Empower Youth Program – exploitation prevention resource – has been ordered for use in 23 states and counting. That’s over 100 orders serving more than 15,000 youth in schools, juvenile corrections, after-school programs, group homes, homeless outreach, faith communities, and more. So how do we get it out there?

The answer is simple: Through collaboration and relationship with people like you, who are concerned about the trend of exploitation that so many youth run up against each day. Your commitment to youth’s right to preventative strategies means that we aren’t relegated to only recovering and rehabilitating youth after they’ve already been exploited. We can help them before it gets that far. Teachers, parents, community leaders, legislators, victim advocates, law enforcement personnel, teenagers: the list of people who have engaged to bring program to communities around the U.S. is lengthy and profound.

Your commitment excites us! That’s why we’re always looking for ways to expand the ways we help you do what you do best. So in 2016, we launched Prevention Approach Workshops to help task forces, coalitions, human trafficking advocacy organizations, and other community-based empathizers get the resources you need to make advocating for prevention easier, more effective, and totally achievable.

In August 2016, we brought a Prevention Approach Workshop to Tacoma, Washington through Federal Way Coalition Against Trafficking. Thanks to the amazing work that FWCAT is already doing, they hosted two days of workshops for school personnel and other like-minded organizations to learn about The Empower Youth Program and advocacy strategies. The result so far is that within just a few months, The Empower Youth Program had already been ordered for almost 3,000 youth and counting in the Tacoma/Seattle area!

We asked Brenda Shaw – co-founder of FWCAT – to share what the Advocacy Workshop achieved for her community:

iEmpathize’s program, Empower Youth,  is a powerful tool to encourage empathy and empower youth and the community to demonstrate care for one another. It covers the subject of exploitation — from bullying to human trafficking.

Although the iEmpathize material is very user-friendly and easy to facilitate, our facilitators gained much greater understanding of the program by having their Education Director come to Seattle and share her passion and the vision of iEmpathize.  Her knowledge of the issue was valuable when sharing with those that might not have a clear understanding of human trafficking on a local and national level.

iEmpathize’s tips for facilitating the material were very valuable, but most importantly, they shared information that reinforced the program and the need for empathy and the ending of exploitation. The presentation is very engaging and their style draws people to share their experiences. They create an environment that allows open discussion among the group.

When we operate alone, we are limited. But through collaboration, the sky is the limit. As Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

You can bring iEmpathize to your community for a Prevention Approach Workshop, too. Learn how The Empower Youth Program can equip the youth you work with with prevention strategies.