I Am the Reason You Should Never Give Up on a Child

Jun 30 2014

By Jackie Davis, Complete post on the National CASA Blog

I’d like to share with you a little of how CASA’s powerful commitment to children has influenced my life.

At the tender age of two my parents’ rights were terminated due to neglect and drug abuse. I, along with four of my siblings, were removed from our home, separated, and placed in foster homes. My siblings were adopted, and I rotated through six homes before being adopted at five years old. After about a year, the adoption broke down due to abuse and the family’s refusal to continue caring and providing for me. I was placed back into foster care, and there I suffered at the hands of neglectful and abusive foster parents. In care, I resided with families that beat me violently, made me sleep in bathtubs, locked me in closets for punishment, and abused me in other malicious ways.

I was placed on high doses of medication for anxiety and severe depression. I was heavily medicated to modify my disruptive behavior and to suppress the true emotions that came with my trauma.

During my childhood, the trending theme was that I was a “bad” child and one who was “undeserving.” As those around wrote me off, my attitude became apathetic. I was enrolled in special education classes and was considered by some to have a mental disability. I became a belligerent and aggressive child—violent toward others, uncooperative, and at times, suicidal. But all along, my heart was in distress—feeling love and those meant to protect me had forsaken me. I gave up on myself and fell into an abyss of despair.

It became evident, to some, that Jackie Joe Lee would not amount to anything. In fact, a psychologist once told me I’d be on drugs, in prison or dead by the time I was 21 years old.

Well guess what? I’m still here! I matter! I am the reason you should never give up on a child...

Read the rest of Jackie's story and learn about the difference his CASA volunteer, Molly, made in his life on the National CASA Blog.