Who am I… and what led me to the movement?
Let’s start with the first question. Who am I? As the great Muhammad Ali said, “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” I believe he was talking about me! All silliness aside, here are a few things about me. I’m a girl—Jerry, is, in fact a unisex name. After high school, I received hundreds of recruiting letters from the army, military, etc. Of course I was flattered… but needless to say, I rejected them all. I’m a Virginia Tech Hokie! Go Hokies! [p.s. Danny Coale was definitely robbed of that amazing touchdown catch in the Sugar Bowl.] Aaaaaand, I have my first confession. I am indeed a shopaholic. My heart starts pumping, the adrenaline starts flowing and my eyes tend to glaze over when I see a good sale. It tends to get a bit out of control. My mom mistakes the term shopaholic for hoarder. She just doesn’t understand that, yes, there are differences between each of those black pumps. I’m also addicted to chocolate and all things sweet, minus licorice and jellybeans. On the topic of food, I am also a huge foodie—in particular, Korean food! I spent the past two and a halfish years in Seoul, South Korea and have become a huge fan of Korean food. Growing up, I used to hate kimchi and all things Korean. But, after experiencing the amazingness that is Korean food—I can’t live without it. I will, however, spare my roomies the foul smell of kimchi by not keeping any in the community refrigerator.
So, what led me to the movement?
While in Seoul, I worked as an English teacher for a year and at a public relations firm for another year. I consider my time in Seoul to be some of the best moments and experiences of my life. It was in Seoul that I learned about modern-day slavery and human trafficking from David Batstone and the Not For Sale Campaign [NFS] at the Onnuri English Ministry. Who knows how long it would’ve been before I heard about the issue and NFS if I had not attended the service that very Sunday. Like most people, I remember sitting in shock and disbelief after hearing what David had to say about modern-day slavery being alive and well, today, and in our very backyards. I couldn’t even comprehend that very statement. I might not have realized it at the time, but from that moment onwards a passion ignited in me to somehow help fight the war against modern-day slavery across the world. I started researching human trafficking along with the NFS campaign, where I came across the fellowship program. I found the program to be unique in that it prepared its “warriors” to be abolitionists, like Harriet Tubman, with all the knowledge and tools to battle the crime that is human trafficking.
And so, here I am in Half Moon Bay, California. 2,735 miles from home. Thirty minutes to the closest Trader Joe’s. 20 minutes to the movie theater. Nineteen miles to J.Crew. And one short block away from the beach and those HMB surfers. To say this first week has been overwhelming would be an understatement. But, I’m so excited to be a part of all that NFS has in store for 2012. NFS Fellowship, let’s do this!