Page 10 - ARH_4_24
P. 10

Court - continued from page 7Abby Baley of Sotomayor High School Serves AsABy Sally Kalos Princess of 2023 Helotes CourtFIESTA By Tish Smith Jenningsbby Baley, a senior at Sonia Sotomayor High School, was motivated to compete in the MissHelotes Scholarship Pageant last year by her passion for learning, growth, and trying new things. She believes that stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is essential for personal development.In 2023, Abby placed as Princess in the Miss Helotes Court. Being part of the court has significantly helped her grow as an individual. She has become much more confident, especially through serving her community and promoting non-profits at charity events.One of Abby’s favorite community events was the Western Heritage Parade, a walking parade held downtown. She particularly enjoyed the longhorn cattle drive at the beginning of the parade, as she loves longhorns and found it a beautiful sight.“Passing on the title of Princess, I want to leave behind a legacy of strength, compassion, and grace. As a representative of Helotes, it is important to be strong in everything you do, have compassion for those around you, and represent our community with grace,” says Abby.Her advice to contestants is to savor every moment, as pageant season goes by quickly. She encourages them to take a second to breathe and be proud of how far they have come.Abby received a $3,500 scholarshipfrom the Pageant. This fall, Abby plans to attend Northwest Vista College to study humanities. After earning her associates from Northwest Vista College, she plans to transfer to UTSA to continue her degree and earn her bachelor’s.Abby considers this opportunity a blessing in her life and expresses gratitude to God for the experience and for always being with her. She is thankful for the new experiences, memories, and friends gained along the way, as well as for the guidance of their Court Mom, Ms. Jennifer, and the entire pageant committee, whose hard work has shaped them into confident young women.Viva la fiesta, y’all!NIOSA plans have been laid. We’re revving up to party.The parade floats have been made.They now stand majestically, Waiting for riders to mount.The River Parade’s the first. There are twenty-eight floats by count.Food and drink booths have been built. They’re ready for volunteers. Trinket stands are now set up. Workers scramble as time nears.Excitement is building up for The Texas Cavaliers’ River Parade. We’ll don our Fiesta hats. Party goers will now invade.Follow the Fiesta trail.It begins at the Oyster Bake. St. Mary’s hosts this event. Party until your bones ache.Find your way to Fiesta rides. There’s a ride for everyone. Save your eating for later. Ride sickness will spoil the fun.NIOSA is the place to be. Decorated hats are shown. The crowd and the noise build up. Fiesta is now full-blown.Experience Cornyation.daughter by talking about her kids and family and asking about us as well. She was trying to earn my daughter’s trust.”“I told my daughter about the training I had just attended and that I thought this person was trying to earn her trust and groom her. She messaged the woman and asked her not to message her again. A series of messages followed saying that I was just paranoid and that she valued my daughter’s friendship. My daughter was weirded out about things this woman was asking and quickly unfriended and blocked her. I am so thankful my daughter trusted me and understood what this woman was doing. I think helping to identify ‘am I being groomed’ or ‘is my kid being groomed’ is a necessity to battling social media vulnerability.”Signs of grooming1. Access: Abusers exploit vulnerabilities such as common interests between the trafficker and the victim. They observe potential victims through their social media presence. Posts suggesting low self-esteem, problems at home, or loneliness signal that a person may be easily victimized.2. Isolate: Abusers physically or emotionally separate victims from those protecting them. They often seek out positions where they have contact or control with minors.Photo By The Fiesta CommissionIt’s a comedy stage show. The humor is for adults.It’s not for the children though.Take a stroll to La Villita. Savor all the ethnic food. Dance to the German music. The Polka puts you in the mood.Get ready for two parades. The majestic floats appear. Battle of Flowers is first. Charros ride by as kids cheer.Fiesta gives a farewell. It’s the Fiesta Flambeau. The night is filled with color. The fiesta Queen is aglow.If you are not worn out yet, Go to the King William Fair This is the final shindig. Party once more if you dare.3. Trust Development: Abusers gain trust through gifts, attention, sharing “secrets,” and other means. They train victims to keep the relationship secret. Once trust is achieved, the trafficker encourages the victim to meet or send a compromising picture, which is then used to extort the victim. Through this extortion a trafficker might threaten to release the picture to the victim’s family and friends if demands are not followed.4. Desensitization: Abusers start with harmless touch (like hugging or tickling) and escalate to more sexual contact. They may also show pornography or discuss sexual topics.5. Behavior: Abusers try to avoid raising Trafficking - continued on page 11A multi-part series on Human TraffickingPARENTS, Beware & BewareSocial Media Is Trying To Control Your Child!By Lou Duggan“ T echnology... It has changed our lives,” said Jack Staton, former Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge. “It improves lives, but it can also destroy lives. When used by Human Traffickers, it is a dangerous and effective tool. It can be used to facilitate the recruitment, enticement, and enslavement of children and adults into sex and labortrafficking.”Parents, does your child have access toa computer or cell phone? Beware and be aware! Social media has become a significant tool allowing Traffickers to connect with potential victims, then recruit and control them. Traffickers often groom and control their victims through online computer and cell phone platforms. Potential victims are recruited through apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Craigslist, online dating sites, and cell phone chat rooms.Recruitment and GroomingGrooming is a tactic used by sexual abusers to gain access to potential victims, coerce them to agree to the abuse, and reduce the risk of being caught. It often follows a similar pattern, whether it occurs online or in-person. The following is an actual case of ‘grooming’ a young girl in the San Antonio area. To protect the victim’s identity, names and sources are not used.“My 12-year-old daughter was talking to someone on Instagram during the time I received trafficking education from a local foundation. I started talking to my daughter, asked her to see her social media (in which she handed over without asking questions) and discovered a woman and their conversation. The woman was visiting with my daughter about things happening at school and reminiscing about her own school days. She was trying to make my daughter feel like this was all a normal part of school life. Her social media profile said she was in her early thirties with kids and a husband. She was trying to befriend my10www.alamoranchhighlights.comApril 2024

   8   9   10   11   12