On Monday, October 24th, Brother Daniel J. Becker (Beta-Pi, Dickinson College, ’14) attended a meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force on Trafficking where he accepted the 2016 Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons on behalf of a non-government organization (NGO) that he co-founded as a junior in high school.
The organization that Brother Becker co-founded is Students Opposing Slavery (SOS). Despite his school work and summer jobs, he has remained involved with the group he started and was selected with two other students to receive the award on behalf of SOS. The event was held at the White House and Secretary of State John Kerry presented them the award.
Students Opposing Slavery (SOS) is a youth education program for students dedicated to continuing Lincoln’s fight for freedom by raising awareness about modern slavery within a high-risk population – teenagers. A cornerstone of the SOS program is the week-long Students Opposing Slavery International Summit, which President Lincoln’s Cottage first launched in 2013. At the Summit, dozens of teenagers from around the world come together to gain resources and training to take action against human trafficking in their own communities. Started in 2012 by four teenagers who believed that they had a responsibility to do what they could to end slavery in their time, SOS has flourished under the auspices of President Lincoln’s Cottage. Today, SOS is a growing network of young abolitionists from around Washington, D.C., the nation, and the world who are working together to end slavery.
In his remarks, Secretary Kerry described SOS as “pioneering an innovative movement”. The Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons is awarded once a year to outstanding individuals or organizations that display a steadfast commitment to fight against modern slavery. Other awards received by SOS include: EdCom award from the American Alliance of Museums, and an award of merit from the American Association for State and Local History.