ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® will host its 15th annual Hope Awards on Thursday, May 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The event will honor individuals and companies that have inspired the public with their stories of survival, innovation and determination to help children.
"This year's honorees are setting an example that others should follow," said NCMEC President and CEO John Clark. "They are using their skills and personal experiences to make a difference in children's lives. It's our honor to celebrate their contributions."
Hope Award winners this year include:
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions and Haywood Talcove, Chief Executive Officer, Government and LexisNexis Special Services Inc. LexisNexis, a leading technology company, has partnered with NCMEC for more than a decade to make children safer through financial and technology support that is helping find missing children and combat child sexual exploitation. A key element of the collaboration is the ADAM program, which allows NCMEC to target specific areas with posters of missing children and quickly distribute a poster to thousands of locations. The program has led to the safe recovery of 171 missing children.
Mary Mazzio, writer, director and co-producer of the documentary film "I Am Jane Doe." The film tells the story of child sex trafficking survivors and their families as they navigate the legal battle with Backpage.com, an online website where children are sold for sex, while shedding light on the devastating impact of the sex trafficking industry on children.
J.S., a survivor of child sex trafficking. At just 15 years old, J.S. became a victim of child sex trafficking after being sold for sex on the website Backpage.com. Her path to recovery hasn't been easy, but with the unwavering support of her family, J.S. had the strength to begin her journey toward healing and recovery and the courage to talk about her victimization.
Champion Awards will also be given to:
Discovery Communications, for creating the Rock One Sock campaign, through its pro bono "Creating Change" program. Rock One Sock aims to raise awareness and support for NCMEC and the issue of missing children.
Keith Avila, an Uber driver whose quick thinking helped rescue a victim of child sex trafficking who was a passenger in his car.
Erik Bauer, a Takoma, Washington trial lawyer who has broken legal ground against the corporate giant, Backpage.com, by fighting for justice for the young victims who are bought and sold for sex on its website.
Adrien Widman, a former NCMEC employee and owner of Ocelot Brewing Company who created "Hops for Hope," a unique fundraiser with a specially brewed craft beer sold to benefit NCMEC.
Also in attendance will be John Walsh, NCMEC co-founder and host of CNN's "The Hunt." The night will be emceed by T.J. Holmes, ABC News anchor/correspondent and frequent "Good Morning America" contributor.
The Hope Awards is part of NCMEC's month-long tribute to National Missing Children's Day which is officially recognized on May 25.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Since 1984, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® has served as the leading private, nonprofit organization helping to find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent future victimization. As part of its work as the clearinghouse and resource center on issues relating to missing and exploited children, NCMEC operates a hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678), and has assisted in the recovery of more than 237,000 missing children. NCMEC also operates the CyberTipline®, a mechanism for reporting suspected child sexual exploitation, which has received more than 16.5 million reports since it was created in 1998. To learn more about NCMEC, visit www.missingkids.org or see NCMEC on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children