nickMonticello middle and high school students got a lesson in safety on Wednesday when they heard a presentation from Kelly Hays, the Morgan Nick Foundation’s prevention education coordinator.

Hays’ presentation was specifically designed to educate and empower children against the dangers of abduction and exploitation. She focused on social media safety, sexual exploitation, teen runaways, human trafficking and the importance of knowing your surroundings.

The foundation, established in 1996 by Colleen Nick after the 1995 abduction of her daughter Morgan, provides safety education services for children, incorporating resources from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office. It also advocates for legislation to help protect children and their rights.

Hannah Kling

Hannah Kling

The speaking engagement at Monticello was the result of Monticello High School student Hannah Kling’s Family Career and Community Leaders of America STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) project.

Kling, who previously hosted presentations at the elementary and intermediate school, contacted the Morgan Nick Foundation to inquire about a safety presentation to her peers at the high school and middle school.

To show their appreciation and support of the Morgan Nick Foundation’s efforts to keep children safe, the Monticello High School FCCLA raised and donated $500 to the foundation.

“Having Morgan Nick Foundation speak to our student body had a huge impact on my FCCLA project and me personally,” Kling said. “It made me feel great to know that because of my project, MHS and MMS students are more aware of possible dangers and the money we raised and donated will help others.”