Anti-sex trafficking student advocate accepted into Clinton Global Initiative University 2014

Jasmine Anglen, a junior at ASU dual-majoring in Finance and Management, and Natalie Lamé (not pictured) became inspired to provide counseling and resources to sex-trafficking survivors.

Jasmine Anglen, a junior at ASU dual-majoring in Finance and Management, and Natalie Lamé (not pictured) became inspired to provide counseling and resources to sex-trafficking survivors.(Photo by Rachel Nemeh)

Last year, Jasmine Anglen went to a seminar about sex trafficking by an ASU advocacy group called Unchained. Her life and her ambitions were forever changed, and she is now preparing her own presentation about sex trafficking for this year’s Clinton Global Initiative University meeting.

Anglen, a finance and entrepreneurship junior, said when a survivor of the underground sex trade in Phoenix told her story at the seminar, it had a monumental impact on her outlook. She said Phoenix is third in the nation for the most sex-related crimes committed.

“I was struck by the fact that she was going through all this in the city where I grew up and led a normal life,” she said. “I just couldn’t rest when I knew that there were women and children out there that this was happening to.”

 

 

Anglen said she and her best friend then worked with the ASU Innovation Challenge to develop their project, called All Walks. The nonprofit project is designed to educate others on sex trafficking in the ASU and Phoenix communities, as well as build partnerships with domestic violence shelters to help them effectively rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking.

Early in the spring semester, Anglen and her co-founder were notified that their project had been accepted into the March CGIU meeting at ASU.

Natalie Lamé, business law junior and All Walk’s co-founder, said she felt a rush of emotion when she heard about their project’s acceptance.

“I felt dizzy,” she said. “It was a great feeling to know we were going to be part of this conference and have another opportunity to get funding for our organization. We’re looking forward to that aspect and learning and building our organization through workshops.”

The girls met when they lived across from each other in their freshman dorms, and now they call each other their best friend.

Lamé said their close relationship is partially what makes their project successful.

“It’s so great to have someone support you with friendship and support you in your own goals and share their resources,” she said. “Jasmine is tenacious. No matter how hard things get, she’s always willing to dedicate whatever it takes.”

Anglen also praised Lamé for her value as a business partner and friend.

“She’s very committed (and) very passionate,” Anglen said. “She’ll do anything I ask her to, and I think that passion and enthusiasm is really important.”

Anglen said even the project’s name, All Walks, reflects this concept of cooperation and connecting people to reach its final goal of reducing sex trafficking in the Phoenix area.

“It came from the concept of thinking that we’re all in the same geographic area but all from different walks of life,” she said. “It’s the idea of uniting people that are all from different walks of life to combat this issue here in our home.”

The duo said they hope to eventually expand All Walks outside of ASU and Phoenix, to create a sustainable and replicable model for other universities in major cities to combat sex trafficking as well.

Lindsay, Anglen’s father, said his daughter’s ambitious and caring spirit amazes him.

“I come from a very successful family, but I’ve never met someone whose sheer determination can accomplish whatever she wants,” he said. “She puts up a tough exterior, but she’s one of the most tender people I know.”

Lindsay said Anglen has always had a talent for accomplishing what she wants. When she was in third grade, he said he promised to pay for a horse’s boarding if she could raise enough money to buy one.

“She used birthday money to buy a candy machine, and even used a calculation to determine what her biggest return on her investment would be,” he said. “Before long, she had thousands of dollars, even before she was in fourth grade, and I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m going to be paying for a horse!’”

Despite her passion for solving the sex-trafficking issue, Lindsay said his daughter can sometimes be upset by the stories and statistics of the crime. But he said she finds refuge in simple things, like her dream of acquiring a hedgehog as a pet.

“She wants to eliminate the sex slave trade, but I know it depresses her sometimes,” he said. “She’s so tenderhearted, sometimes after she’s been working she has to go back and look at pictures of hedgehogs. I could see her becoming the first female president or being a photographer in Australia snapping pictures of hedgehogs. … But whatever she does, she’ll be extremely passionate about it.”

 Reach the reporter at elmahone@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @mahoneysthename