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Jenny’s story

When I was a little kid, I just remember growing up having a bad childhood. My mother was really not there — she had a kid personality and I was basically raising myself. I had to learn things on my own. When I was about 15 my mom met a guy online. He started coming over more, my mom forgot about me, and this guy was basically raising me. One night he came into my room, and it was over. He got into my bed.

After that night I just wanted to die.

The next morning I woke up not wanting to go to school, but at this point, school was my safe place. I was getting ready to leave when all of a sudden, out of no where, this guy hits me in the face, and my mom says nothing. I would go to school with red mark scars and a black eye, and I had finally had it. I got called to the office and there was a cop and another person with her. She said she was my new case manager and she asked me what was going on — asking why I had so many bruises. Of course I lied because I did not know what to do.

That same day I went back home and the same thing happened again. He came into my room and raped me again. The next day my new case manager was doing a home visit. I wrote her a note telling her that if she does not get me out of the house, then I am running away. I slipped it in her book. The next day we had a team meeting with my case manager, my mom, a counselor, and my aunt, and they decided that I needed to get out of my mom’s care that day. They were deciding where to place me! I had no clue what was going to happen, or if I was going to a group home, or what. Thankfully, my aunt said that she would take me in. That same night I told my aunt that my mom’s boyfriend raped me, and that he would hit me all the time. She took care of that fast! We went to see a police officer and I told them everything that had happened.

Over the next couple of months my case manager told my aunt about a group called JFCS, and said that I should join. That is when I met my new mentor, Darby. Darby helped me open up and took me to a whole bunch of meetings. I got involved with a group called My Life, and it was the best thing ever because there were other kids like me that were in foster care. I knew that I was not alone, and that is where I met my church family, and started going to church. I had a whole bunch of people caring about me and loving me for who I was, and I felt safe every time!

I finally aged out of care when I was 21, and I found my job with the group that I was in called Open Table. They helped me with my life goals, and I have been with this job for about two years now! I have also been helping other foster kids, telling them about how I grew up in the foster care system too, and how I felt safe. Without everyone in my life, I probably would not be here today. I am 27 now and loving life.

I wanted to write this to say thank you to everyone who saved me from a bad life, and helped me make a new one.

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