Northeast Phi Beta Lambda hosts human trafficking awareness and education event


From left to right, Angie Schaffer, Danielle Howell, Shayla Kramer, Stephanie Olson, Hunter Bergman, Zaine Gallager, Sarah Wimer

Northeast Community College’s Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) hosted the event “Is Sex Trafficking Really a Problem in Our Community” on Monday April, 23 2018 in the Welcome Center. The event featured the Set Me Free Project, a non-profit dedicated to educating communities about human trafficking prevention. The PBL students created the #TraffickingStopswithMe community service project that received 2nd place at the State PBL Leadership Conference and will compete at the National PBL Conference in Baltimore, Maryland in June.

Stephanie Olson, CEO of the Set Me Free Project, Danielle Howell, Youth Program Director, and Sarah Wimer, Project Administrator, spoke about the myths of human trafficking and how a community can protect their members with education and support. They say human trafficking, often times, does not look like a dark figure kidnapping someone. It starts with a grooming period, where the trafficker fills a need and gains the trust of the victim. This need could be anywhere from attention to jewelry. They also spoke of the danger social media presents to younger kids. Mobile phones make it possible for traffickers to be inside the home of families. The number one way traffickers reach their victims is through online interaction.

Part of the PBL community service project is to raise funds for the Set Me Free Project and the Sydney Loofe Memorial Scholarship. As of April 24, 2018 $415 has been raised via a Facebook fundraiser, which can be found at this link. Another way the organization is raising money is, helping the non-profit sell t-shirts. At the event 11 t-shirts were sold for a total of $220. Those can be purchased from their website here.

For businesses looking to support the cause, The Set Me Free Project offers prevention education training on how to spot and support victims.


From left to right, Angie Schaffer (PBL Advisor), Danielle Howell, Shayla Kramer, Stephanie Olson, Hunter Bergman, Zaine Gallager, Sarah Wimer
Hunter Bergman’s introduces the guest speakers
Set Me Free Project and PBL Staff
The PBL students competing at PBL National Conference.

Viewpoint reporter, Hunter Bergman, interviewed Olson in studio 135 to talk about an in-depth view of Human Trafficking in our community.