Jasper Lau, a Bexley High School sophomore, is spearheading projects at his school to fight human trafficking in central Ohio.

Jasper Lau, a Bexley High School sophomore, is spearheading projects at his school to fight human trafficking in central Ohio.

A member of the youth leadership program UCREW Columbus, he recently hosted a lunch for BHS students at Bexley United Methodist Church to raise awareness about the issue, according to a news release. The event also generated funds that will go to Rahab's Hideway and the Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition.

Lau's school counselor, Kristen McMahon, said UCREW Columbus is part of the AmeriCorps VISTA nonprofit UGIVE.ORG, an organization that connects high school students to service opportunities via social media.

"With UCREW Columbus, I've learned a lot about the importance of giving back to our community, and how we (youth) are the next leaders of this generation," Lau said. "This greatly inspired me to independently host an event for my high school."

Lau arranged the lunch, including soliciting food donations and booking a speaker from Ohio State University to educate youth about human trafficking. Some 90 students attended.

"The donation component of the event was the most challenging part of my experience," Lau said. "I had to successfully persuade local businesses to donate foods and products to my small awareness event."

Ninety donations from area restaurants and businesses helped Lau produce a successful event.

The next project to further his cause is working with UCREW to produce a 5K run - "Amplify: Step by Step: a Run to Fight Human-Trafficking" - at Hilliard Darby High School on March 24. In addition to the run, which starts at 10 a.m.," the event includes lunch, family-friendly games and advocacy activities until 2 p.m. Pre-registration costs $20, which includes a T-shirt, with all proceeds going to benefit Rahab's Hideaway.

For more information about the event, visit stepbystep5k.tumblr.com.