Office of Student Life

Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program

Letter to a Mentor - Alex Clark

May 29, 2020 by Beth Johnson

Dear Theresa,

Who would’ve ever thought that you and I would cross paths? It was by chance that we met four years ago. You, telling your story and me, having my concept of the world shattered. Since, you have not only been a role model and a collaborator, but my inspiration for the work that we do together.

You were victim to the terrible realities of sex trafficking that exist in our country. You lived in an affluent suburb—a regular girl in a regular high school. By no fault of your own, an innocent crush on an older boy led to years of slavery. But now, you are at the forefront of empowering survivors around the country and around the world.

Since I co-founded Enlighten Anti-Human Trafficking (along with Henry Wu, BLF ‘20), we have worked alongside you to distribute resources and training to at-risk hotels and motels around Ohio. We were so grateful to travel to Miami, Florida with you this last February to prepare the city for the commercial sex demand that would come with the Super Bowl. Even as I move on from Ohio State, our work will never end. Hopefully we have established a lasting project that will continue to support S.O.A.P for years to come.

But more than that, you taught me that sometimes, your life is inextricably dedicated to a cause. Every moment that you exist is a testament to your cause, to your story, to your mission. My only hope is that one day, my existence will have the gravity of yours—dedicated to justice, whether I am intending it or not.