“Through service, I’m able to explore life from a different lens than the one I’m used to, and I’m able to learn and have a better understanding of the world around me,” says Aliyah Camera Dixon, a senior at Isidore Newman School.
Dixon is involved in NeWomen, ACTIONS and Eden House. Dixon founded NeWomen as an organization that empowers young women in the upper school through mentoring and discussions.
Dixon volunteered at Eden House by organizing a closet of one of the women who works there. Shopping is one of Dixon’s favorite hobbies so she organized the closet as if she was on “What Not To Wear” and made organizing a fun task.
“During this service project, I realized that these women were stripped of this luxury of going shopping for themselves. This hit home for me because I go shopping so I can relax and unwind. So, to know that this luxury was stripped away from these women made me realize the seriousness of sex trafficking,” says Dixon.
Kara Van De Carr spoke to the women of Newman about sex trafficking and brought a survivor so the students could learn from her.
“As a teenager, it’s much easier to go every day not worrying about the issues others have to face,” says Dixon. “In that month of discussions and volunteering, I learned that even though sex trafficking doesn’t affect me directly, it affects my community and I wanted to help put an end to it.”
After learning more about these horrors, Dixon and the women in NeWomen made bracelets to sell as a fundraiser. Each bracelet had a lotus flower on it, symbolizing the rebirth of a purer life.
Dixon says, “That flower represents the women of Eden House; they were hitting the reset button on life and taking back control over theirs.”
Sana Johnson, Dixon’s mother, inspired her to become an activist. Johnson taught her that her voice is important and that it’s equally important to all of us.
Dixon plans to attend UCLA or the University of Miami after she graduates in 2018. She strives to be a pediatrician who owns her own practice. Dixon also wants to create her own international organization dedicated to empowering young girls around the world through seminar classes, summer camp programs and mentorship.