This month we honor is a student at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School in Augusta who has spent countless hours researching something she didn’t even learn about in school: sex trafficking.
Isabelle Schwartz bought a book at Barnes & Noble years ago that turned her into a teenage advocate, using her voice to shed light on a tragic situation that happens around the world, and right here at home.
That’s why 16-year old Isabelle is our latest Giving Your Best winner.
“Sold, by Patricia McCormick- it obviously had a great impact on my life and i think it would others, too.”
It was through reading that book, as a young teenager, that Isabelle knew she could use her voice to help others– something she learned from her mom.
“From a very young age she taught me that you have a voice and you can use it, and you need to use it for people who don’t know how to use theirs or aren’t in a position where they can, and so, i think this is one of those situations where someone needs help and they aren’t in a position to get it, and there are people trying to tell them they can’t. So I think this was one of those things where I knew I can do something and I want to.”
Isabelle is committed to raising awareness of human trafficking. In particular, educating young people about the ways human traffickers use social media. It’s not a “pretty” topic:
“Just because it might be harder to talk about and something that’s not in our everyday awareness so to say, doesn’t make it any less important to talk about- there’s a lack of communication about it so we need to work harder to increase that and make it known.”
And that’s what made Isabelle stand out to former Sunday School teacher Kim Capers.
“She really works hard when she’s not in school, her commitment to it, I just see her future bright and we want to help her get to where she wants to be with this.”
Also helping in that goal: Isabelle’s mom, Martha Anne Tudor, who says her daughter has found a purpose larger than herself.
“It elevates her own life to feel like, ‘I can really make a difference.’ And you can make a difference. You might not be able to change the world but you can change it for one, or more. That’s the thing I’m most proud about Isabelle, she may not ever get the blessing of a feedback, of knowing of a specific person that she saved, but just knowing that she’s putting that message out there and what it might lead to, is the reward itself.”