My Heartfelt Thanks

The day is finally here, it’s the day I submit my dissertation! While this dissertation has become my baby over the last year I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of those closest to me. Although I wish I could recreate my entire dissertation here because I’m so proud of it, I doubt anyone wants to read 12,000 words on the legality and intermestic security of human trafficking, so instead I’m sharing the first page, my acknowledgements…

I would like to express the deepest appreciation to my supervisor, Dr Hannah Cross, who has supported me throughout this process with patience and knowledge whilst still allowing me the room to work in my unique way and at my own pace. Without her supervision and constant help this dissertation would not have been possible or nearly as analytical.

In addition, a thank you to my undergraduate instructor and PhD candidate, Mr Douglas Page, whose passion for academia had a lasting effect. I also want to thank the University of Westminster for their financial support granted through my scholarship which has allowed me to pursue my Masters degree abroad and further my professional aspirations.

My sincerest thanks to my parents who have not only aided my higher education financially but emotionally. A special thank you to my father who read draft after draft without complaint offering invaluable comments my entire educational career. A massive thank you to my mother who has supported my every decision and continues to be my sounding board, my cheering squad and best friend. I attribute the level of my Masters degree to their encouragement and efforts to continually make me the best version of myself.

I would like to thank both of my sisters; to Michelle for sharing my love of academia and paving the way into higher education; and to Jennifer for being my continual support system and outlet throughout this journey. I am profoundly grateful to my sisters for giving me the gift of my nieces and nephew, whom I love more than anything and whose innocence inspires me everyday. Their grace and giggles bring me out of the dark depths of human trafficking research and show me the beauty in the world.

A huge thank you to my closest friends who not only encouraged me throughout this experience but kept me motivated and read endless drafts without complaint. Finally, my most heartfelt thank you goes to my boyfriend Rich. This year was a long haul for you too, and there is so much to thank you for: for listening to every idea and concept, for always having wine at the ready after a particularly distressing day of reading victim reports, for being my rock and for just offering me the hug I needed at the end of the day. I would never have come so far without your love and support every step of the way.

There is so much more I could write about each of these people but my word limit simply wouldn’t allow for it. Suffice to say my emotions got the better of me writing this section and while I’ve loved the dissertation experience I am happy it’s over.

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.

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