Abigail and I met by pure serendipity.

Janet and I decided that we’d support Abigail through university, but it wasn’t till a year after my initial trip that we found where her deep emotion behind that almost got her trapped by a syndicate.  We’d gone back to Western Visayas to see the finishing touches on the house we helped build for her family and attend her high school graduation

She asked me why out of all the people I’d met in the Philippines, I had taken her on as a mentee. The conversation went like this:

Me: “Why did you want to be a cruise line hostess?”

Abigail: “Because I wanted to see the world.”

“Why did you want to see the world?”

“Because I wanted to see what other countries do.”

“Why do you care about what other countries do?”

“Because I want to see what makes them work.”

“Why did you want to see what makes them work?”

Then with sudden emotion, quiet strength, and some tears — “Because I wanted to know why my country isn’t as successful as other countries and I love my country…”

You have to be able to read spirit. You have to be able to connect with another person and be enthused by what you find. And once you find spirit in them, you can do something with it. And that’s why I aligned myself with her.

I wish I could stop human trafficking everywhere. What I can do is focus on Abigail’s future and empower her and her sisters. Abigail is bold, impossible not to respect, with deep resolve and more natural nobility than most people I have met. I’m excited to see what her future holds as she pursues her Civil Engineering degree.

In the meantime, I will help her get wise to predators who would hurt her, opportunities the modern economy offers her, and the mindset for success.

If you would like to donate to her continued academic pursuits, please donate at the following:

Venmo: Jakefree

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