By Monica T. Rodriguez
Upon visiting Thailand, Breezy Thomson’s eyes were opened for the first time.
“Through the two week trip I was exposed to [ZOE] mission” to rescue children from the horrors of abusive labor and sex slavery. “I saw first-hand of what they do and that is when I fell in love with their mission, fighting trafficking.”
Now, Thompson is a student attending College of the Canyons and after experiencing a life changing event, ZOE International encouraged her to “create a social justices club or an anti-traffic club. ZOE is able to help provide resources to clubs and that is how my whole journey began,”Thompson said.
Her journey began when she “decided there should be a club on campus for students and faculty to get involved in this fight called My Generation My Fight, so we modify the name here at COC to mygenmyfightcoc.”
Thompson’s mygenmyfightcoc idea started to become reality when, just being at the right place at the right time, she met Chase Longan. “I had some experience starting clubs I actually was a president of Media Entertainment Arts Premiere club here on campus not too long ago,” Longan said.
Longan went to hear what Thompson and Jessica Murphy had to say about human trafficking
“I was not really aware of the gravity of this situation,” Longan said. “What they learned kind of painted a different picture than what I was expecting.” Longan became one of the first members to join mygenmyfightcoc.
Longan, Thompson and Murphy started moving forward finding a club adviser that became Tracy Taris, a therapist working at the Student Health and Wellness Center.
Taris decided to become the club advisor to mygenmyfightcoc after attending a meeting where the topic was human trafficking. “I felt a little tug on my heart to contribute,” Taris said. “I did not really had time to get involved” with mygenmyfightcoc. Now, Taris works at the Student Health and Wellness Center here at COC. “Larry Schallert ask me to contribute mygenmyfightcoc.” Taris decide it was time to contribute and bring mygenmyfightcoc into the light.
Mygenmyfightcoc are currently meeting once a week at the student center room 128. President Thompson is establishing an “educational element for [the] club” and contacts other organization for a “guest speaker to come in” and talk to her fellow club members. For example, Thompson invited Tessa Blanchard to speak, a volunteer at International Justice Mission (IJM), an anti-trafficking organization. IJM “rescues the victims and prosecute people responsible” for “human trafficking and other violent abuses agents the poor,” Blanchard said.
During club meetings, the group members have brainstorming sections since the club is new and has only been around a few months. Mygenmyfightcoc is still working on the ground work “on this campus,” Thompson said.
Vice President Murphy participate in one of the activates provided for club members to engage in the “ZOE walk in Sylmar Mission College and we walked just a short walk from LA Mission College to El Cariso Park, and basically along the walk there was a story in different stop being told of a survivor of trafficking.” Club members who participated “learn about [a survivor’s story] at the finish line they had venders and pop up shops of different types of retail that supports human trafficking raising money” by “providing jobs for survivors of trafficking.”
The future for mygenmyfightcoc is to be “not only partner with organizations and college campuses,” Thompson said. She wants to “reach out to the junior high schools and high schools within this valley.” Thompson vision of her club is “having a strong core foundation of the education side of human trafficking”
With a strong foundation, Thompson club can organize events to bring an educational awareness to schools in the valley. “Human trafficking in the United States actually starts at 12 years old the typical age where people pull into trafficking so not only this awareness continues to stop from happening, but help encourages those students to just be aware of this issue that is occurring,” Thompson said.
If anyone is interested on learning more about mygenmyfightcoc here at College of the Canyons visit Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cocmygenmyfight/.