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Jan. 16, 2013 -- The Georgia Department of Education today announced the statewide winners of a poster contest to promote a national hotline for reporting and preventing human sex trafficking.
The winners are: Terea Abernathy from Stephenson High School (DeKalb County) for the English contest and Saresa Pearce from Golden Isles Career Academy (Glynn County) for the Spanish contest.
Submissions were judged by a panel of state officials representing multiple areas of expertise.
The winners were chosen from finalists from Georgia's 16 Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) areas. Winners will receive $250.
The regional winners have been printed and are being sent to the respective RESAs for distribution to middle and high schools in that area. The winning posters will be prominently displayed in schools within their region. Images of the two statewide winning posters are attached.
Experts estimate that 5,000 girls each year are victims of sex trafficking in Georgia. Atlanta has become a major center for trafficking because of its international airport, sprawling landscape and a role as a transportation hub. Many of those victims end up in Georgia's schools. The Georgia Department of Education cannot stand by and allow sex trafficking of students to continue. We have worked with a number of state and private partners to host seminars designed to help Georgia educators and social services workers recognize key indicators of possible human sex trafficking activities and give educators the resources to help victims.
See the winning posters: