“If you don’t try, then you’ll never know” are such simple words, yet carry such an important message. Ohio University Senior Megan Gallagher discovered a passion, tried out her idea, and ended up starting a movement from scratch that spread like wildfire.
Megan Gallagher is a member of The Bobcat Hatchery, an ideation center, along with being involved in many other organizations on campus including Campus Crusade, Chi Omega Sorority, and Phi Chi Theta Professional Business Fraternity. After attending a conference where she was introduced to anti-human trafficking, Megan realized her passion and began challenging herself with how to make an impact. Then, OU End Slavery Movement was born, a non-profit organization that turned into a campus wide movement against human trafficking designed to raise awareness and provide opportunities for students to be able to get involved.
“OU-ESM would not be what it is today without The Hatchery. I am so thankful to have been a part of it while here at OU.”
The Hatchery provided an environment for Megan to nurture her idea for the movement into a reality and offered connections and resources that benefited the movement. Many other Hatchery students contributed their talents and efforts to the OU End Slavery Movement. Efforts included help creating the logo, marketing, and organization planning advice. Megan said, “OU-ESM would not be what it is today without The Hatchery. I am so thankful to have been a part of it while here at OU.”
OU End Slavery Movement has sparked a lot of interest campus-wide and state-wide, where it became a part of Governor Kasich’s coalitions against human trafficking. The key was not only putting a student body behind it, but also connecting with the local community and then integrating it into the state wide efforts.
Another successful step for Megan and OU End Slavery Movement has been hosting the first annual End Slavery Week. The week included educational material, documentary screenings, and even a guest speaker that survived human trafficking. The purpose of the week was to raise awareness, educate, and get students to join the movement.
Megan was recently honored for all her hard work and dedication, receiving the Ohio Liberator Award. The Ohio Liberator Award is awarded to different groups of people throughout the state fighting human trafficking. Megan received the award for the student category. “It was just really awesome to see how many different levels this is being fought at, and how many people are dedicating their lives to this. It was really incredible and such an honor to win this,” Megan said when talking about The Ohio Liberator Award.
When asked for a piece of advice for anyone who recognizes a passion and wants to run with it, Megan said, “There are no limits, especially with starting your own thing. Opportunities are endless and making something your own is so unique and you are made so uniquely so use your mind, use your skills, and put forth the effort to make it happen because if you have a dream you can make it come true.”
Join the OU End Slavery Movement
If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved Megan encourages anyone to come to weekly meetings, Monday’s at 6pm in Bentley 015. It’s an incredible way to learn about the cause and empower yourself. There are also volunteer opportunities and events to attend.