We get excited every time the Do Something Awards comes around, but this year’s show is going to be especially amazing. MTV Act favorite and nerd prom queen Sophia Bush is hosting the show, and stars like Lucy Hale, Kelly Osbourne, J. Cole, and Jennifer Hudson are scheduled to attend! The best part of the night, however, involves 5 young finalists who are in the running for $100,000 for their world-changing organizations.
All of the finalists are under 25 years old, which makes their accomplishments even more inspiring. Because you can help vote for the activist you want to win the $100,000, we wanted to introduce you to the do-gooders. We’ve interviewed each finalist, so read up, choose your favorite, and scroll down to the end to see how you can vote for your pick. Even if your choice doesn’t win, it’s not all bad: the four nominees who don’t take home the grand prize will receive a $10,000 community grant for their organizations!
When Jillian Mourning was 19, she was raped by her modeling manager and his friends and became a victim of sex trafficking. Now 25, Jillian’s founded All We Want is LOVE (Liberation of Victims Everywhere), an organization that works to prevent sex trafficking from going unnoticed. She’s distributed 12,000 bars of soap labeled with the National Sex Trafficking Hotline to hotels during the PGA Golf Tournament, which directly resulted in uncovering five cases of trafficking.
To find out the celeb she’d most like to champion her cause, how to get involved in her organization, and her favorite words of wisdom, check out Jillian’s interview below.
Photo: Jillian with her friend Phillip. (Facebook)
ACT: Who is your Do Something role model?
JILLIAN: Abolitionist William Wilberforce -- he was a man of God and a humanitarian to the core. He put immense pressure on ending slavery as well as increasing moral values of everyone. One of my favorite quotes is by him: “You may choose to look the other way but never say again that you did not know.” This quote gives meaning to moralistic social responsibility. Once we learn of something if we ignore it we are only increasing the problem.
ACT: What is your favorite song to volunteer to?
JILLIAN: This would depend on the type of work I am doing. If it’s a task where I don’t need to talk then EDM or house music would be my pick. Anything to get me on a good pace!
ACT: What are your words to live by?
JILLIAN: “Peace begins with a smile” or “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa
I truly feel like a genuine smile can change a variety of things, but it definitely lessens hate. Also in a world where there is so much injustice, it often feels overwhelming and you question why you do something for fear it isn’t helping, yet if everyone stopped doing something for fear of it being too small or not enough, then nothing would get done and think how much worse of a place the world would be.
ACT: What do we need to know about your organization?
JILLIAN: All We Want Is LOVE will get rid of the average person who does not know that trafficking exists in the United States. Once they know, we will educate them on a range of tangible things they can do. We are teaching someone how to fish not just providing the fish to them. Giving the education and inspiration to help a cause is necessary, if someone does not understand something it's harder for them to find the passion to want to help.
Photo: Jillian with her friend Samantha. (Facebook)
ACT: How can someone reading this get involved with your organization?
JILLIAN: You can go to our website and fill out the form on ways to volunteer. We have different options for people -- outreach, events, campaigns, and several other people we partner with, so they can learn how to help trafficking based on their interests and skill set.
ACT: You wake up with a world-changing superpower. What is it?
JILLIAN: The ability to cure unnecessary emotional pain; I think pain can serve a purpose to say “hey don’t do this again,” or teach lessons in life, but there are situations that continue to hurt people that do not serve a purpose, which ultimately would increase the happiness in the world. Happy people are givers and make the world a better place.
ACT: You wake up to a tweet from your favorite celeb offering to help your cause. Who is it and why are you freaking out?
JILLIAN: George Clooney would be a celebrity I would really be overjoyed to have on board. He serves as a great role model for men to get involved in injustice in the world. Men taking a stand and actually doing something against human trafficking speaks volumes to their character. It’s easy to talk the talk, but walking the walk is much harder for men faced with everything in today’s society and the lack of knowledge behind the truth of trafficking. Having a well-respected man who can get other men to get involved and stop making it a women’s issue could create pivotal change.
For the first time ever, you can now vote for your favorite finalist via SMS. To vote for Jillian to win the $100,000 grand prize, text: JILLIAN to 38383. You can find more information about sex trafficking by visiting Against Our Will or by checking out the action widgets below.
Tune in to the 2013 Do Something Awards on VH1 tonight at 8/7c.