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Help Save the Next Girl

Help Save the Next Girl created to raise awareness about protecting young teenage girls from predators

Help Save the Next Girl created to raise awareness about protecting young teenage girls from predators

Alexys Hairston, Reporter

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Help Save the Next Girl is a club at Hidden Valley High School that was started and is now sponsored by Coach Clara Ponn who is also our HV volleyball coach. It is described as an organization that came from one specific girl that was kidnapped and murdered and is now used to raise awareness that girls are susceptible to the same unfortunate outcome.

“I created this club to help share awareness about this ongoing problem in not just our area but throughout Virginia,” said Coach Ponn.

Coach Ponn and past sponsor Ms. Beth Davis worked with the girls and boys in the club to reach out to people about things such as how to deal with certain situations relating to this issue.

“I think just the clubs name itself brings a grave amount of awareness to young people. Teens tend to go through life until they have responsibility feeling like they are invisible and Help Save the Next Girl has brought awareness to that,” said Ms. Davis.

The rise of sexual predators and offenders has risen significantly over the past 10 years. As well as young children communicating with older adults over the internet. There have been many cases over the past five years with abduction and murder being brought upon by using social media to communicate with unknown people.

“I feel with the increase of young teens and children having access to social media that this problem is actually getting worse rather than being prevented overtime,” said Ms. Davis

When she used the Kik app to communicate with someone named Dr_Tombstone. That name traced back to a Gmail address registered to Eisenhauer,” said The Roanoke Times.

This referred to a local ongoing case in Blacksburg where teenager Nicole Lovell was abducted and murdered by two people who to her seemed harmless but would soon cause the end of her life.

Increased technology and apps have allowed older pillagers to target and manipulate young children into thinking they are just trying to be friends but soon realize they want sexual actions in return.

Coach Ponn and the members of the club are working towards raising awareness about this ongoing problem not just locally but nationally.

“As of 2010 only 9 percent of kids who use the internet received an unwanted sexual solicitation,” according to the University of New Hampshire’s Youth Internet Safety Study (YISS).

“I think this problem is increasing rather than decreasing because more and more people have access to social media. The social media apps make it more available to students and young teens that use these social media platforms,” said Ms. Davis.

Coach Ponn wants to continue to encourage people to join and get involved with Help Save the Next Girl. She is always looking for people who are excited and motivated to reach out in the community and school to help girls right here in this very school.

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