News and Events
First-year Students Bring Light, Funds to Human Trafficking Organization
Students in the Seaver College first-year seminar, "Power and the Human Spirit," ended their first semester at Pepperdine with a dinner that raised over $2,000 for NightLight, a ministry reaching out to exploited women and children in the sex trade on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand.
Adjunct professor Jason Jaggard taught the seminar. "It's a semester-long conversation about what it means to be a healthy human being," Jaggard says. "Quite often, the conversation would revolve around character and living a generous life."
Out of these conversations, the idea for a fundraiser formed, and the students took the lead on creating an event and choosing a charity. "The reason why we did this event was because it represented the whole purpose of the class. We are meant to take the power that God had blessed us with and use it to add value to the lives of others. Another theme of the class was truly living a life that has depth," says Seaver College freshman Noel Moul, one of the student organizers of the event.
The students came together in their support of NightLight, a program developed in Thailand that offers women working in brothels and bars food, shelter, job skills, education, spiritual support, and childcare. Many of the women learn to make jewelry, which is sold on the NightLight Web site.
"Human trafficking is also known as forced prostitution and when most people think about that they only think it exists in foreign countries, such as Thailand where it is most popular," says Moul, "but the reality of it is that human trafficking is the fastest growing business and there are currently more people in slavery now than there was during the years of slavery in the U.S."
The dinner was held on Sunday, Dec. 7, and students provided all of the food and entertainment. They charged $25 a head, and also sold several pieces of jewelry created by women in the NightLight shelter.
"They weren't sure if college kids would be willing to spend $25 on this, but they were shocked when they found out how many students wanted to come and contribute," says Jaggard, who announced the funds at the end of the evening to be over $2,000. "Some students were tearing up; it's such a powerful experience to be a part of something like this."
"Personally I cannot remember any moment that has made me so proud," says Moul of hearing the grand total. "I did not expect us to make over $2,000, with more money still coming in. I have found that there is no better way to live your life than helping others. It's like a natural energizer that God has given us all along; we just need to serve others to tap into that energy. We are all going to truly miss this class since the semester is now over."
For more information on student life at Pepperdine, visit the Seaver College Web site.