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Humanitarian Alumni Award: Evan Robbins '87

Friday, October 25, 2019

Not long after graduating from IC with a degree in marketing in 1987, Evan Robbins embarked on a yearlong backpacking trip through much of the developing world. On his return to the U.S., Evan obtained a master’s degree in secondary social studies education from Queens College, and has been teaching ever since.

Evan’s experiences traveling the globe, coupled with his passion for education and philanthropy, led to his creating a 501(c)(3) charity: Breaking the Chain Through Education (BTCTE). The project at Metuchen High School in New Jersey in 2006, when Evan created the BTCTE Club in conjunction with his students. The club’s members dedicated themselves to raising funds to donate to organizations that rescue and rehabilitate victims of child trafficking in Ghana’s fishing industry. To help promote education and to free 20 trafficked children, BTCTE later built a school in 2013 in the village of Awate Tornu (the school was completed in exchange for the children’s release—a deal that BTCTE negotiated with the village in 2011).

Since its early days, the mission of BTCTE shifted to providing long-term care to survivors of trafficking rather than focusing on rescuing more children based on the children’s demonstrated need for ongoing support. In addition to Evan spending time with each child every summer to assess their needs, BTCTE social workers visit the children regularly to monitor their continued progress toward academic or career goals and check on their mental and physical well-being.

Based in New Jersey, Evan is very proud of his family: his wife Lisa of 25 years and two daughters: Arianna, age 23 and Maya, age 19.


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