Since the start of their Fellowship year, Jordan Ambrose and Jessica Ton have been working to develop SafeStart — a program aimed at empowering young victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) to help them develop healthy lifestyles and re-enter society with a better outlook for their future.
Sadly, programs like SafeStart are sorely needed in Baltimore, where sex trafficking — as brought to light by the tragic case of Shaniya Davis — “is prevalent enough in Maryland that there is a state task force assembled to address the issue.” (WBAL-TV Baltimore)
Last week, these two Baltimore Schweitzer Fellows (both students at University of Maryland, Baltimore Medical School) held a dinner aimed at raising awareness of DMST, along with a university-wide clothing/toiletry drive.
According to Ambrose and Ton, who have partnered with YANA Place to implement their project, “the program for the dinner consisted of a brief introduction to the topic of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST), followed by a question and answer session from a panel of trafficking experts from the fields of law, immigration and customs, and social work.”
Additionally, two DMST survivors shared their powerful stories with the audience of more than 75 students hailing from the University of Baltimore, Maryland’s medical, dental, pharmacy, law, nursing, and social work schools.