OUR STORY

"Set the Captives Free"

SHIFT is a student-led movement that aims to educate students on the evil of sex trafficking and gives them the tools in order to prevent it in their schools, communities, nation, and globally. SHIFT gives students the opportunity to save lives by acquiring knowledge, using our tools and resources, and connecting to our partner organizations, to fight trafficking in Colorado, the United States, and even around the world.

OUR STORY

"Set the Captives Free"

SHIFT is a student-led movement that aims to educate students on the evil of sex trafficking and gives them the tools in order to prevent it in their schools, communities, nation, and globally. SHIFT gives students the opportunity to save lives by acquiring knowledge, using our tools and resources, and connecting to our partner organizations, to fight trafficking in Colorado, the United States, and even around the world.

AWARNESS

The First Step In Abolishing Slavery

The first step in fighting evil is being made aware of it. SHIFT’s first mission is to educate people on the issue of sex trafficking, and its presence in Denver and around the world. After being educated, we call those people to action.

We believe that if you know about an evil, you have a moral obligation to fight it. For this reason, we have created a resource for you to be able to fight trafficking using your talents and passions! Visit our resource guide to be connected to dozens of organizations that fight sex trafficking and see how you can be the one to help stop it.

"Awareness Without Action is Apathy"

ACTION

- DR. JEFF BRODSKY

AWARNESS

The First Step In Abolishing Slavery

The first step in fighting evil is being made aware of it. SHIFT’s first mission is to educate people on the issue of sex trafficking, and its presence in Denver and around the world. After being educated, we call those people to action.

We believe that if you know about an evil, you have a moral obligation to fight it. For this reason, we have created a resource for you to be able to fight trafficking using your talents and passions! Visit our resource guide to be connected to dozens of organizations that fight sex trafficking and see how you can be the one to help stop it.

"Awareness Without Action is Apathy"

ACTION

- DR. JEFF BRODSKY

In the summer of 2015 a team of students traveled to India to serve the Dalit people of Kolkata with one of their teachers, John DeYoung. While in India they walked part of the streets of “Sonagochi”, the largest red light district in Southeast Asia.  Their hearts were torn apart with conviction. Right in front of them trafficking and prostitution became real to this team. The statistics and stories of trafficking faded while the faces of the women and children that they saw stayed with each step they took.

When they returned to the U.S they carried heart break from all the pain, corruption and darkness they had witnessed. They were in disbelief that what they had seen was allowed and on such a large scale.  Even worse, they learned that it was also going on here at “home”. They felt that they had to do something… but what?  After all they were only students… After much discussion with their teacher, John encouraged, challenged and guided these students to move their heartbreak to action.  The concept of the “SHIFT Conference” was created.

Xia Xia, Hannah, Katie, Caitlyn, Ryan and Jake wanted to educate the Denver community that trafficking and sexual exploitation existed right here in Highlands Ranch, Colorado just as in every state in America and every country in the globe.

They didn’t want to simply educate about the problem.  They desired people to actually “do something” and to give them resources to do it. Their goal was to unite the community and provide tools and examples of others locally and globally that were making a difference.

     The Lord perfectly orchestrated the team, its volunteers and donors for that first event. He put the right speakers in place to share their stories and show the need that everyone who is involved in that ugly world, both the buyers and the victims, needs to be loved and restored. It became evident that the Lord gave us the idea to put on the conference and He blessed it immensely by bringing a standing room only crowd during a winter storm to that first conference.  It was amazing what that small team of 6 high school students, one teacher and parent volunteers and put into motion.

The Lord didn’t just bring the right people but His redemption and love for all was publicly seen. An ex buyer gave a public apology for his past actions and shared his past experience of abuse at such a young age. After he spoke a restored trafficked victim opened by stating she forgave him and that she loved him. The Lord marked everyone’s hearts with his Love, Hope and a Passion to set those people free that night.

     We are grateful for all the Lord entrusted us with. All those that He has moved through and whatever direction He continues to move to make this conference possible.

It is fun to look back and see what that small team started.  The SHIFT Movement grew in their 2nd event to include nearly 70 students, representing 12 different schools.  Now in it’s 3rd year SHIFT has been asked to educate parents/students in audiences large and small throughout the year, partnering with experts in the field, and those who have a willingness to “do something”.

Meet the Team

John DeYoung

John DeYoung

Founder//CEO

John DeYoung is a passionate Mentor, Disciple of Jesus, Entrepreneur, Dancer, Story Teller, Film Maker and Media Designer. He is teaches Film Media, and Dance at Valor Christian High School, and is also the Founder and Director of Momentum Global(momentum.global).

Lucinda Koerner

Lucinda Koerner

COO//Event Coordination

Lucinda has a passion for helping the hopeless and for everyone to see their unique combination of experiences and skills as valuable tools that can help others. It is the goal of helping those who cannot help themselves that drives her passion.

Lisa Ernst

Lisa Ernst

CFO//Ticketing

Lisa is a key volunteer who organizes, supports, and develops the Momentum mission. Exposed to the sex trafficking industry for the first time in Kolkata, India, Lisa became aware of the global issue and is passionate about being a proponent for change for those who are trapped in the industry both locally and around the world.

Wendy Henkleman

Wendy Henkleman

Creative Producer

Wendy is a Storyteller & Creative with a background of 13+years in LIVE events and Media, Wendy helps nonprofits tell their stories better through events and media as a Producer. Her expertise in Media, PR, Marketing & Producing Events has led her to work along side many nonprofits and regularly consult for nonprofits and startups.

Jake Mcdonald

Jake Mcdonald

Spokesperson//Film

Jake is a 17-year-old student who has been with SHIFT since its founding in 2015. He likes to run, create, and travel. He has served in places like Botswana, Cambodia, India, and Nepal. Missions for Christ are his passion, and he hopes to continue it into his career. SHIFT has not only grown his relationships with others and taught him how to create a non-profit but also furthered his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Aubrey Gerken

Aubrey Gerken

Spokesperson//Street Teams

Aubrey is determined to see slavery abolished in her lifetime. She speaks to students, parents and everyone in between about the danger of trafficking, and what can be done to stop it. In her free time, Aubrey enjoys golfing, singing, calligraphy and volunteering in her community.

Amina Penn

Amina Penn

Spokesperson//Social Media

Amina is a 16 year old who is passionate in bringing awareness to the community about the sex trafficking industry, and how they too can bring an end to it. She is the Social Media Director of SHIFT. Amina is a member of her high school’s DECA team and is also a member of Veritas Dance Company. In her free time, Amina enjoys playing volleyball, dancing, travelling, and is a strong Pittsburgh Penguins fan.

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