UNL student finds passion through required course

Maddie Schultz, an Advertising and Public Relations major at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln discovers a passion for promoting sex trafficking awareness through a required course project.

In the fall of 2017, Maddie was assigned a group project to focus on a topic over one semester and build an interactive multimedia website. “Last year, in my JOMC 134 class we decided to do the topic of sex trafficking that’s going on in Nebraska which is how I got involved with the issue and became passionate about raising awareness,” says Maddie.

“I was drawn to this topic because once I started researching a little bit I began to realize how big of an issue this truly was and yet it was something I knew so little about.” She states.

Maddie shares that sex trafficking is an issue that is swept under the rug and typically few people are educated on but she stresses that it is definitely a really prominent crime that is going on here in the Nebraska area. She believes that the awareness aspect of the issue is really lacking in our community and that it is specifically important to raise awareness on our campus.

This last march, Maddie recruited several UNL students and began to build the I’m Not for Sale club. The startup crew includes Max Van Arsdall, Noelle Pick and Alexis Hagstrom.

I’m Not for Sale is a campus club that’s mission is to raise awareness of the issue of sex trafficking in Nebraska. The club supports a local nonprofit called I’ve Got a Name.

According to executive director, Paul Yates, “I’ve Got a Name began as an event in 2010 to raise awareness and resources to fight sex trafficking in Southeast Asia. I’ve Got a Name became a 501©3 non-profit organization in 2012 when it changed its focus on sex trafficking where we live in Nebraska.”

In efforts to raise awareness on the University campus, I’m Not for Sale has hosted several fundraising events benefitting I’ve Got a Name. Two of their most positive events were occurrences held at Yogurtini and Chipotle.

Member Noelle Pick believes that social media has been one of the most successful ways of promoting awareness. “We created an Instagram and immediately saw a following, like right away. It was just really rewarding to see everyone supporting us.” She shares. @imnotforsale_ne currently has over 500 followers.

In the near future, they have plans of hosting a self-defense class on campus as well as design t-shirts to help build their brand and share their message.

“It is so awesome to see all the support we’ve received from all the UNL students that are supporting us.”

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