When I was a child, my mother somehow managed to raise six children who graduated from college, Each of my siblings became happy and productive adult members of society. I often say my mother demonstrated kindness and strength all the while empowering me and my siblings to pursue our dreams.
But it wasn’t until I reached college myself did I realize just how fortunate I was. Not only did I have a great family foundation, but my parents paid for all four years of college. Education was always an option.
When we look at the support services available and the stages of survival of victims of human trafficking, we realized there was a tremendous gap. Many survivors don’t have an opportunity to pursue college. Even if they qualify, they don’t necessarily have the resources to pay for school.
And yet education can help transform a life. You learn how to express your thoughts or make persuasive arguments. You develop a skill to help you land a job. You engage your mind to solve problems. You grow as an individual to appreciate the world around us.
So for survivors of human trafficking, education can be the difference maker. Survivors can pursue their interests and apply skills and lessons towards becoming happy and productive adult members of society.
For this reason, we launched in 2017 the Children’s Voice Scholarship Program which offers educational scholarship awards to survivors of trafficking and help them to pursue their educational goals.
To be eligible for the CVI Scholarship Program, individuals must meet all three of the following criteria:
- Individual must be nominated by a CVI board member (directly or indirectly via a sponsoring third-party non-profit approved by the Board of Directors);
- Individual is admitted into an accredited education program; and,
- Individual has experienced a form of trafficking as a child.
Nominated individuals must complete an application, write two essays, and complete an interview. The Board of Directors votes annually on scholarships. Recipients can maintain scholarship awards each year provided they maintain minimum grade point average and provide a written report each year documenting their educational goals and progress.
To nominate an individual or to fund scholarships for survivors or human trafficking, please click here.