Student Involvement: When Class Projects and Real Life Intersect

Posted by: Jamie Hergott and Nate Jones on July 6, 2015

Student Involvement: When Class Projects and Real Life Intersect

1. Tell us your name, school, major and what year you graduate.

My name is Nate Jones, I'm from Wheaton Illinois. I graduated from Taylor University in 2015. I majored in Communications, with an emphasis in interpersonal and public communication. I also have a minor in Public Relations.

2. How did you hear about Purchased?

My first interaction with Purchased was during a job fair in Indianapolis. I was going from table to table, discussing opportunities that different companies had. Then, I saw this very cute woman standing at the Purchased table, and thought I'd better go learn about her. And Purchased. Long story short, Courtney filled me in on Purchased, and I was very impressed with the organization’s growth and leadership.

3. What made you want to get involved?

The growth that Purchased has seen has been awesome. They have a great team, and there is a huge need for Purchased in Indiana. So many individuals don't realize how prevalent human trafficking is, and how close it can be to their lives.

4. Tell us about the project you did for your class and why you chose to focus on Purchased?

I actually wrote a grant for Purchased, and wrote an article about them for a media-writing course. The grant was a no brainier, as we needed to find an Indianapolis nonprofit that could use funding for a great cause. It was perfect, and Jessica was great in helping me along. The article focused on the need for organizations like Purchased in the Midwest, as so many people are trafficked across the interstates of Illinois, Indiana, and other connecting areas. It felt almost like a capstone, as I was able to work with a client in multiple classes. It was also beneficial for both parties, as I was able to serve Purchased with my efforts (I hope) and my writing was improved, and my understanding of human trafficking and the awareness needed has been greatly enhanced.

5. Is this something you plan to stay committed to long term?

I just started full time work in Tennessee, so my face-to-face interaction with Purchased staff, and my hours to give will be limited. Supporting Purchased financially, as well as connecting friends to Purchased who are interested in raising awareness and programs for human trafficking, is more realistic. I have already linked multiple social work majors to their webpage, as almost everyone at Taylor is searching for good internship experience. Should I end up back in Indiana soon, I'd love to play a larger role, whatever that looks like.

6. How has your work with Purchased impacted you? How has it impacted your fellow students?

It's given me great experience in writing and taught me how to work with a client via media. More importantly, I've gained an appreciation and respect for those working to combat human trafficking. It’s made me recognize how vital awareness and effective programs are. It's one of the fastest growing global industries so we need all hands on deck to destroy such an evil and harmful industry of crime. Those who have read my work and seen the grant were very surprised by the statistics, almost overwhelmed. This makes Purchased such a necessity. My friends were impressed and very interested in their work. We need an arm of education like Purchased everywhere, as so many are unaware of human trafficking and the lives it can destroy. 

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