NFS Fellowship Blog, Week 1, 7/17/11
Hello, everyone! As this is my first blog, I’ll start with some quick introductions. My name is Christy Sobolik. I was born in raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and went to college at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I just graduated in May with a B.A. in English and Spanish. I love literature, languages, and learning. I’m a big nerd—I’m obsessed with The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games. My dream is to commission the Jim Henson Company to make a Muppet avatar of me.
Ok, now that introductions are done, let’s get to the meat of this blog.
When I talk about my involvement in the abolitionist movement, a lot of people ask me how I got into all this. So I will tell all of you. It started in the fall of 2008, in my sophomore year of college, when I stumbled across the Freedom Store on the Not for Sale website. I saw that they had an outpost program, where one could sign up to buy the products in bulk at a wholesale price to resell them. I thought this might be a good event to do on campus around Christmas time, to raise awareness about the issue and provide a way for students to support survivors. I spoke with the leaders of the Presbyterian group I was involved in about facilitating this event, and they agreed to help me.
Through planning the Freedom Store and reading more about the crime of human trafficking, I felt a growing conviction that I had to take part in the abolition movement. Working on the Freedom Store led me to form of a new club on campus called Student Abolitionists, in which I served as president for two years. In the summer of 2009, I attend one of Not for Sale’s first Investigator Academies so I could bring what I learned there back to my campus.
I had always thought I would go to grad school, but a while back I decided to take a year off after college to reflect on my next step. In searching for things to do in that year, the Not for Sale fellowship came up. I knew that I want to be a part of this movement for as long as it takes to end this injustice, so I thought doing this fellowship would be a good way to learn exactly how I could fit in and be of service. I applied, got accepted, and here I am.
I arrived here in Half Moon Bay a little over a week ago. I am living in a house with three other fellows (the fifth in our group is a local, so she’s commuting). My fellow fellows are a fantastic group of girls. I have loved getting to know them this week, and I am so excited about working with them over these next few months. I won’t talk too much about them here, though—go read their blogs and let them introduce themselves.
This first week was boot camp. Keturah, our fantastic fellowship director, started by introducing us to the program, and then we went through all of Not for Sale’s platforms in depth to decide which ones we wanted to work on. At the end of the week, we received our placements. I will be working on International Projects, the Student Abolitionist Movement, and developing the Alumni Network for the Academies. We all also have to work one shift every other week in the Freedom Store. This coming week, we will be attending the Investigator Academy in San Francisco, and we will start working full time the Monday after.
Let’s backtrack a bit to the part where I said that I had always thought I would go to grad school. I’ll save you my whole existential crisis for the moment, but in sum, I’m at a stage in my life where I have a lot of questions about what my next step should be. I know that I’m in this fight for the long haul, but I’m still figuring out exactly what skills I have to offer to it and what I need to do to develop those skills. For the moment, I want to focus on where I am now and not fret too much about the future. But these are questions that are on my mind, and I will be alluding to them over the course of this blog.
I think that’s all I have to share for the moment, and I don’t want to go on for too awfully long. So I’ll leave off for now, and talk to you all next week. Thanks for reading!