Meredith Kinney ’07 and Sarah Rooney ’13 never knew each other during their years at Sewickley Academy, but little did they know they would one day have so much in common. These two extraordinary young women made their mark at SA by coming together in 2013 as advocates against human trafficking to form the Academy’s first Human Trafficking Awareness Conference.
Meredith Kinney ’07 is currently the Legacy of Freedom Tour Director at Resolution Hope, an organization devoted to ending child trafficking in America. “What we have found at Resolution Hope is that while most Americans recognize that human trafficking and modern-day slavery are happening abroad in places like India and Thailand, they all too frequently fail to recognize that this injustice is happening in America,” Meredith said.
To address such concerns, Meredith coordinated the Legacy of Freedom Concert Tour. “Through the tour, we visited colleges across the country and brought students together around a concert event to further educate and empower them. It was exciting to meet college students and campus leaders across the country who are taking a stand against injustice.”
Sarah Rooney ’13 tells a similar story. Hoping to raise awareness about human trafficking, Sarah was connected with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Coalition in the summer of 2012. Through that organization, Sarah was one of a few high school students who attended an event called Human Trafficking 101 at Heinz Field in December 2012. During the conference, Sarah met Tamara Collier, who proved instrumental in helping Sarah develop what would become Sewickley Academy’s first Human Trafficking Awareness Conference. The proposed conference became Sarah’s senior project, and five months later the Academy welcomed 200 students from six area schools. Many of the schools in attendance established their own human trafficking awareness clubs the following year.
On May 2, 2013, during SA’s conference, Sarah and Meredith got the chance to work together to inspire a new generation of students to take up the fight against human trafficking so that one day slavery can really be a thing of the past and all Americans can consider themselves free.