Showing posts from January, 2018

The Intersections of Justice – Human Trafficking

As we begin to wrap up National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I am encouraged. On January 10th, Transitions hosted a screening of the film I am Jane Doe, at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg. We saw over 300 people from this community come out to watch a film about child sex trafficking. (  
I still remember in high school when I would talk about trafficking with my peers, teachers, etc. and they thought I was crazy. It's wonderful to see the turn around in awareness and support of this issue. I've been rallying around this cause for 10+ years, and I watched the change in attitude. Though there is still so much to be done, this has become a topic people care about and are invested in changing.
Combatting human trafficking was my passion for many years. In pursuit of that dream, I got involved with Transitions as an undergraduate soci…

The Myth of “Blue Monday”

Since around 2005, people have been talking about “Blue Monday.”   This day has been said to be the most depressing day of the year.  Everything we have heard about “Blue Monday” indicates it typically falls on the third Monday in January, which this year is the 15th.  Supposedly, it’s the day of the year that people feel most depressed. This goes along with another belief that most suicides take place on this day.  This is a myth, and we need to know that there is not one single day where suicides happen most often. 
So, if not on Blue Monday, when do most suicides occur? After having so many misconceptions about suicides happening in the cold and dreary winter months, research indicates that the suicide rate peaks in spring and summer. Please note that this peak is very slight.  Usually, reports of suicide are steady throughout the whole year. 
It is easy to see why the myth of “Blue Monday” exists because it’s after the holiday season and many people are experiencing more debt tha…

Fighting Human Trafficking Through Quality Foster Care

“Human trafficking” is a phrase that often conjures images of frightened, undocumented women who have been brought to the United States while fleeing a war zone. Over the past few years, the phrase has also been connected with (now debunked) stories of well-dressed businessmen attempting to snatch young girls from their families in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. Even for those who acknowledge the prevalence of human trafficking in every city in America, few immediately associate human trafficking with the real source of most of its victims: our nation’s broken child welfare system.

Roughly 98% of survivors of sex trafficking have been involved with Child Welfare services, and 75% have been in foster care.  In 2013, a nationwide operation rescued trafficking victims from across the United States, 60% of which were foster care youth who had run from care or who had aged out of the system. When we think of human trafficking, we must think of our nation’s most vulnerable children…

Be Your Own Superhero – Tell a Teacher Program

Last year, the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way enlisted Transitions’ elementary education department in helping them promote a prevention measure in the Chief Shikellamy Elementary school.  The Be Your Own Superhero – Tell a Teacher program is based on the idea that kids who live in at-risk environments will identify their teachers as a trusted adult to help them with situations that are beyond their control at home.  Using colorful, cute, and engaging caricatures of kid-size superheroes, kindergarteners and first and second graders will be encouraged to tell a teacher if they are allowed to smoke or drink bad things, taken to scary places, told to keep secrets about bad things, left alone and scared, go to bed hungry, or are afraid of their parents or guardians.   
Participating teachers receive an identifier – a superhero figure that says:  “Tell Me!” – as a way for students to know that this teacher will do what it takes to ensure their safety.  
Realizing the link between chi…