I’d like to introduce you to an amazing sixteen year old. Her name is Alicia and we swim and bike together on Monday nights. It would be pretty amazing just to be sixteen and bike with a group of adults every week-and keep up. But what makes Alicia so inspiring is her story and how she is using it to help others. Here’s her story in her own words:
“Hi, my name is Alicia, I am sixteen years old and a survivor! When I was eleven I was sexually assaulted. I understand that this subject is very somber, but I would like to address it because of how common sexual assault is. There are so many people in our community that have been assaulted, but few have been brave enough to report it because of how scary it can be. I know because I’ve been there myself. It took a year before I was able to tell my secret. To this day it is the hardest thing I have ever done! I truly believe the only reason I am a survivor is because of the Children’s Assessment Center (CAC). The CAC is designed to help the child and their parents get through this particular nightmare. They helped my family get through all that was involved after I disclosed and I want to give back to the CAC as much as I can. I would like to help the CAC expand the programs that teach children they have rights and learn that it is okay to tell their secret and report the unspeakable things that happened to them.
The mission of the CAC is to hear the story, heal the pain and halt the cycle for children who have fallen victim to suspected sexual assault. They are ready with detectives, doctors and counselors. The child always has someone to hold their hand every step of the way. I had three people assigned to my case: my counselor, the detective and prosecutor (although not through the CAC). Each were my superheroes in this very scary chapter of my life. Although the victim’s family does not pay for any of the services received, the CAC’s cost for one child is roughly $1,000/year. The Center operates through grants/donations and I have set a personal goal to raise $6,000 to help six other children become survivors, just as I have.”
Alicia is going to participate in 6 different running events between July and December (5K’s and triathlons) and is trying to raise $6,000 for the Children’s Assessment Center- helping one other child for a year with each race! She has raised $2,431.00 so far! What an amazing girl! Rarely do you find someone so young who is determined to use her own pain to help others. Alicia and I have discovered that we are a lot alike- both using our athletic events to help children. She is one of my heros! Please join me in supporting her by making a tax-deductible donation to:
The Childrenʼs Assessment Center
901 Michigan Av, NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Put “Alicia’s Race” in the memo section of your check.