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In Our Backyard:

2019 Public Service Announcement Contest


Online Voting Opens:         Friday, April 5, 2019

Online Voting Ends:           Friday, April 19, 2019

Winners Announced  :       Thursday, April 25, 2019

The trafficking of children for the purposes of sex is a major problem within the US. We all  have a part to play in bringing an end to this exploitation and preventing the complex trauma  that often results from sex trafficking. At LATO, we believe today’s youth have a powerful  voice to effect change in our society, and we believe that they can stop trafficking in its  tracks.


In order to shed light on this important issue, LATO invites all Philadelphia youth affiliated  with a high school, youth organization or shelter to produce a brief scripted public service  announcement (PSA), artistic expression, or poster that addresses the issue of child sex  trafficking. 

Contest Details

Participants are encouraged to use their knowledge and creativity to produce a scripted  PSA; a video recording of a form of artistic expression; or a poster that addresses  trafficking. The best scripted PSA will win $2,000. For the best artistic expression video, the  prize will be $1,500. The best poster will be awarded $1,000. The winning PSAs will  premiere on YouTube, LATO’s website, and social media accounts where applicable. Participants interested in  social issues; media production; communications;  theater arts; visual arts; and acting are  strongly encouraged to participate.

Click here to download Contest Guidelines PDF 

Contest Guidelines


- Eligible participants must be between 14 - 21 years old.

- All participants must Register 

- All participants under 18 must complete a Parent Consent Form

- All participants must complete a Media Release.
- All participants must watch​ “In Our Backyard”
- Submission content should cover one of the following themes:
- Alerting teens to how traffickers/pimps lure teens
- The dangers of meeting an online “friend” alone
- Recognizing the signs of someone being trafficked
- Submission content must include vocabulary and facts from the “​In Our Backyard” video and the onsite LATO information/support session provided in February.
- All entries must mention or visually highlight “Life After Trauma Organization -LATO”.
- Each team must have a Project Sponsor, who works at the school, within a youth organization, or shelter. Project Sponsors must be over 21 years of age.
- All submissions should be sent in a compressed media file (JPEG, GIF, PNG) to​.
- Submissions should ​not​ include any personal identifying information of the participants (i.e. no first and last names)
- Submissions should use original music and images; any entry using copyrighted music or images will be disqualified.
- Entries with profanity or nudity will be disqualified.

Media Specific Guidelines


Scripted Video PSA Guidelines:

- Scripted PSA video entries should be no more than 3 minutes long and shot on a cell phone
- The PSA team must consist of 2 to 5 participants in the same high school, organization, or shelter.

Artistic Expression Guidelines:

- Artistic Expression is any ​original​ work including(but not limited to): dance, step, song, poem, rap, etc.
- Artistic Expression video entries should be no more than 3  minutes long and shot on a cell phone
- Artistic expression teams must consist of 2 or more participants in the same high school, organization, or shelter.

Poster Guidelines:

- Poster teams must be made by 1 - 2 participants in the same high school, organization, or shelter.
- Posters dimensions should be 24” x 36” or 36” x 48”
- Poster entries should be submitted in hard copy form as well as a JPEG/PNG

Project Sponsors


Project Sponsors are responsible for overseeing their team’s production process.  Sponsors commit to:

- ensuring group members attend designated LATO activities;
- monitoring participants for at least 4 hours during their preparation for the PSA contest;
- maintaining ongoing correspondence with L​ATO team members from January 2019 to April 2019;
- organizing a February 90 minute LATO follow-up visit to School/youth organization/shelter;
- organizing transportation and chaperones to and from Contest Award Ceremony
(tentative date early May 2019)

Online Voting:​ Online voting via LATO’s website will take place March 22, 2019 to April 5,  2019. Online votes will account for 40% of the final decisions with the remaining 60% being  cast by LATO members.  

Winner Announcement:​ Winners will be announced online and via email on Friday, April 12,  2019 with an awards ceremony to follow in early May 2019. 

2017 Awards Ceremony

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