Below you will find the short bios of the people responsible for running RUCCAT. Read their backgrounds to see how they got involved!

Justine

Justine D'Souza

Justine D'Souza, President

In my sophomore year of high school, my History teacher taught about the American Civil War. He ended his lesson by telling us that slavery still existed. I was shocked, and I knew that I needed to do something about it, but I felt that my position as a high school student limited me, in terms of resources, time, and knowledge. I joined RUCCAT during my freshman year of college. I felt empowered to know that the average human being could play a role in stopping trafficking, whether that was through reporting a trafficking victim, letting companies know that they would no longer receive client support if they did not seek to eradicate trafficking in their production process, contacting legislators about the importance of fighting trafficking, and even just raising awareness about the issue among peers. Human trafficking represents a dynamic, deeply rooted, and multi-faceted crime. Bringing attention and education to it remains crucial. For that reason, I have become more involved in RUCCAT as the years have passed. As a junior, I can say that this cause and my work for it have impacted me socially, professionally, and intellectually.

Lauren

Lauren Mairella

Lauren Mairella, External VP

I'm Lauren, the external vice president of RUCCAT. I'm currently a senior, majoring in Anthropology. In addition to RUCCAT, I'm on e-board for Rutgers VOX and am a gen member of the Anthro Club. I chose to get involved with RUCCAT because human trafficking is a human rights issue that we all have a moral responsibility to address, whether it is by raising funds to support survivors of sex trafficking or by making informed decisions about the products we consume. Through events like Stop the Traffick Jam, RUCCAT has been successful in not only raising awareness about trafficking (which is crucial, as awareness is the first step towards making a lasting change), but also in fundraising for organizations like Love146 and The Polaris Project. RUCCAT is full of caring, passionate people, and working together to make a difference has been one of the most educational and fulfilling experiences in my time at RU.

Richa

Richa Ranade

Richa Ranade, Internal VP

My name is Richa Ranade, and I am a junior at Rutgers University; I am majoring in biology and I am minoring in Spanish and Psychology. I first attended a RUCCAT meeting because I had no idea that the issue of human slavery was still so prevalent in today's world. Currently I am a co-vice president of RUCCAT, and my main responsibilities include helping to organize events we hold (e.g. Stop the Traffick Jam and the Coffeehouse we hold in the spring). I also help organize RUCCAT's movie screenings around campus. RUCCAT's main goal and focus is to raise awareness about the vast reach of modern day human trafficking, and to raise funds to combat human trafficking (which ultimately lead to slavery). We hope one day this practice will be completely wiped out, but until then RUCCAT will continue to help in the fight against human trafficking. The longer I have been a part of RUCCAT, the more and more I appreciate what it hopes to accomplish and what it stands for. Joining RUCCAT has made me become infinitely more cognizant of the fact that I live in country where I am free, where no one has the right to force me into any sort of labor, and how important these simple facts are to me. I hope through RUCCAT's efforts we get closer and closer to ensuring that people all around the globe have this very same right: to live a free life.

Justine Y

Justine Yu

Justine Yu, Secretary

Justine Yu is a Douglass sophomore majoring in Economics and triple minoring in Political Science, Philosophy, and Psychology. Having attended high school in New Zealand, this international experience led her to her first experience with human rights, culminating in a six-month internship with Stop Child Trafficking Now in New York City before starting at Rutgers. The internship exposed her to the intricacies of sex trafficking, inspiring her to be more active in the issue by joining RUCCAT in her freshman year. Now as secretary of RUCCAT, she helps the executive board in a variety of capacities from helping plan out its annual fundraisers to the day-to-day workings of running an active non-profit campus organization.

Vania

Vania Wang

Vania Wang, Treasurer

My name is Vania Wang. I am nineteen years old, a sophomore in Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences and a student part of Douglass Residential College and SAS Honors Program. My major is Economics and my minor is History. I am also aiming toward earning an International Studies Certificate. I became the treasurer of Rutgers University Campus Coalition Against Human Trafficking because I support the initiatives that RUCCAT pushes. I had heard about trafficking before I came to RUCCAT, but only learned about it's domestic influence when I started to come to the meetings. Trafficking needed to be fought both domestically and internationally, and RUCCAT's support of both impressed me. Last year, Stop the Traffick Jam, a benefit concert, went to fighting trafficking domestically with SharedHope, while this year, we will donate money to Love146 for a Filipino roundhouse, a place for trafficking victims to recover.