A California Christian college is giving victims of sex trafficking the chance to get a free college education.
Point Loma Nazarene University, based in San Diego, is launching a crowdfunding campaign this month with the goal of raising $40,000 in 40 days for the new scholarship fund, called Beauty for Ashes, The College Fix reported.
An online donation page is also being set up so that funds can be raised throughout the year. Named after a verse in the book of Isaiah, Beauty for Ashes is intended to pay for one victim to attend the school each year, according to the website. Tuition at the university is $30,800 per year, plus $9,600 for room and board.
The scholarship appears to be the first of its kind in the country, according to The College Fix.
"Aside from a deep faith in Christ and a loving Christian congregation to surround them, there may be no more important long-term intervention for the rehabilitation of survivors of human trafficking than the loving, academically challenging and carefully mentored environment of a Christian university education," reads a statement on the Beauty for Ashes donation page.
"The Beauty for Ashes Fund places PLNU as an educational leader in the global movement to end modern slavery, and a place of higher learning that stands behind its mission statement, not just for the privileged youth of our culture, but also for the most vulnerable," the site says.
Authorities have called human trafficking the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world -- ranked only second to narcotics trafficking in California -- and the FBI has labeled San Diego one of its "high-intensity child prostitution areas."