Hermitage HS teachers honored in fight against human trafficking

Published: Oct. 27, 2015 at 9:58 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 6, 2015 at 11:47 PM EST
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Two high school teachers in Henrico County are getting national recognition for their efforts to spread awareness about human trafficking through a program called the Prevention Project.

According to the organization's website, thousands of children are trafficked for sex in the United States each year.  Just this year, there were several human trafficking arrests in Henrico County, which is one reason why there's been a human trafficking education program in place at Hermitage High School for four years now.  The Prevention Project partnered with the school to make it happen.

On Tuesday, teachers Jeannine Chewning and Colleen Savino were honored for their efforts to make sure students are aware of statistics, warning signs, how human trafficking works and how to fight it.  The award is the 2015 Robert H. Jackson Center National Award for Teaching Justice.

"They feel like they are a part of something that's going on now," Savino says.  "The most powerful part of it is them getting involved in the community and feeling like they're doing something to help stop this. When you empower young people amazing things happen."

School leaders say The Prevention Project will soon be taught in high schools across Henrico County.  The Prevention Project curriculum is part of the Richmond Justice Initiative,  a non profit that has been fighting human trafficking in Virginia for several years.

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