STEP: Student Education Project Scholarship


On April 22, 2016 Hope4Justice celebrated the winners of the first annual Student Trafficking Education Project (STEP) Scholarship.




The Student Trafficking Education Project (STEP) Scholarship is sponsored by Hope4Justice, a local anti-human trafficking group.  The STEP Scholarship is offered to encourage Whatcom County students to create a project to educate teens about Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST).  Students from Whatcom County high schools or colleges are invited to compete for a $1000 scholarship by creating and presenting a project on DMST to their peers. The winner will be chosen and celebrated at an award ceremony in the spring.  

Download The STEP Application Packet

Why Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST)?

  1. Domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) is the commercial sexual exploitation of American children within U.S. borders.* 
  2. At least 100,000 American children are being exploited through pornography or prostitution every year.*
  3. The age of trafficked children vary.  The average age a child is first exploited through prostitution is 13 years old.*
  4. Vulnerable young people are strategically targeted for recruitment by pimps and exploiters.*
  5. Domestic minor sex trafficking is happening in our communities!
  6. Domestic minor sex trafficking must be stopped!
  7. The goal of peer-to-peer education is to spread the word so young people can prevent trafficking by raising awareness about the issue and its prevalence here in our community.



  1. Must be currently enrolled in a Whatcom County High School, Community/Technical College, or University.
  2. Participants must be high school juniors or seniors or college students with at least one quarter of school left to complete.
  3. Follow the Three Stages of the project.
  4. STEP scholarship submissions will be evaluated by a committee chosen by Hope4Justice. 
  5. Finalists will be chosen between March 15 and April 15.
  6. Decisions of the committee are final.
  7. All STEP submissions become property of Hope4Justice and may be used in promotions, awareness events or other Hope4Justice publicity efforts.  Winner further agrees to allow Hope4Justice to use their name, likeness and school name in local media publicity.
  8. At no time will STEP scholarship funds be dispersed directly to the student.  Upon enrollment in an institution of higher learning, the STEP scholarship funds will be deposited directly to the student’s chosen school.
  9. Running Start students and home schooled students are welcome to apply for the STEP scholarship.  If chosen as the winner, scholarship funds will be dispersed to the student’s chosen institution of higher learning after Running Start eligibility/funding is exhausted.

 Process:  Note - Submission happens in Three Stages!

  1. As soon as you decide to participate in the STEP and before beginning the project, submit completed STEP application form to Hope4Justice. 
  2. At least three weeks prior to your presentation, notify Hope4Justice to make arrangements for a Hope4Justice representative to attend the presentation (We cannot guarantee to attend but we hope we can!) 
  3. Before the deadline of March 15th, submit the following to complete your STEP submission (neatly and in order).
  4. Submit all presentation materials, including but not limited to complete notes, note cards, outline, storyboard, handouts, video, drama script, to
  5. MLA Bibliography 
  6. Completed Audience Surveys (from at least 50% or more of teens in attendance)
  7. Completed Applicant Reflection
  8. Completed Proof of Presentation Forms (2 required per presentation)
  9. No projects will be accepted if any of the three submission phases are not followed

Submission Requirements  

  1. Students are required to create and present a factually accurate project with cited sources and a bibliography.  To prevent plagiarism, documentation and a bibliography (MLA format preferred) are required and sources will be verified.  Any sources that cannot be verified and/or are inaccurate will be cause for elimination of the entry.
  2. Students may work together with the understanding that scholarship funds will be equally divided among project partners.
  3. The presentation may take place in a setting of the student’s choice.  Examples include but are not limited to, a school classroom, youth group, school-wide assembly,  dramatic event, art exhibit, etc.
  4. The project must be presented to a minimum of 50 teens, defined as students in grades 6-12.  The number of teens reached will be one criterion for winning.
  5. Submit documentation, bibliography, Peer Surveys, Applicant Reflection, Proofs of Presentation and STEP Rubric.

 Final submission deadline is: March 15 by 4 pm.  

 Thank you for considering how you can spread the word among your generation!

Download The STEP Application Packet