Content warning: human trafficking
Lexie France is a member of Kappa Delta from the University of Arkansas who spent nearly two months riding her bike down the west coast of the United States. As a participant in Pedal the Pacific, Lexie pedaled her bike 1,700 miles from Seattle to San Diego with a clear purpose in mind: to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking. Over the course of her seven-week trip, she and other participants raised $150,000 to support The Refuge for DMST, an organization that provides long-term shelter and services for female minors who have been exploited through sex trafficking.
Lexie learned about Pedal the Pacific through Instagram and followed the first group’s journey through pictures of their rides and captions that included sex-trafficking statistics. “Whenever I read those statistics,” Lexie says, “they always caught me by surprise – not only with how prevalent sex trafficking is, but how common it is in my own country. That’s when I could feel my passion to fight sex trafficking grow. The more I researched the subject, the more passionate I became and knowing that I needed to join the fight against this crime.”
Lexie says she gained a new perspective on how to live as the best version of herself. “The ride made me realize that all of the ‘problems’ I face on a day-to-day basis are nothing compared to what these survivors have gone through and what millions of others are still going through today. These victims need to be reminded that they are valuable human beings who deserve to feel true, wholesome love. They deserve to have self-worth and confidence, and that’s why I ride – to give these girls hope.”