Blake Students Against Sex Trafficking raising funds and awareness on Jan. 25 to fight exploitation of youth

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Thanks to the efforts of Blake Students Against Sex Trafficking (SAST), 20 girls’ high school hockey teams will be raising funds and awareness about sex trafficking and the exploitation of youth at games throughout the state this Friday, January 25.

“On behalf of my fellow Students Against Sex Trafficking, I’d like to say we are thrilled to see what started as an internal school project has grown into a statewide movement,” said Grace Vojta, senior at The Blake School. “Young women across Minnesota are taking a stand to say that human beings are not for sale.”

Last year, in partnership with the Women’s Foundation, the high school SAST group raised more than $120,000 to fight against sex trafficking in Minnesota through a variety of fundraising activities as well as corporate and individual donations. These funds supported the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in hiring a full-time analyst who uses data science to gain insights into the patterns of victims, sex traffickers and distribution networks, which help law enforcement.

“Our office is so impressed with the Blake Students Against Sex Trafficking group,” said Deputy County Attorney Lolita Ulloa. “These young women are committed to raising funds and awareness of the dangers of sex trafficking and the exploitation of young people.”

On January 25, there will be 20 girls’ high school hockey teams, stretching from Hibbing to Mankato, talking about the fight against sex trafficking, specifically that Minnesota Girls are Not for Sale. Team members and staff will be wearing Stop Traffick stickers, red laces and hair ribbons or knit hats. Blake will be playing Breck at 7:30 pm at the Blake Ice Arena and Deputy County Attorney Lolita Ulloa will be making a few comments.

The SAST group intends to exceed last year’s goal in order to continue supporting anti-trafficking efforts, funding the analyst position and educating Minnesotans regarding the dangers of sexual exploitation of young people.