I am writing on behalf of a former student, Shannon Hillard, who is an extraordinary woman. She experienced numerous instances of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse by multiple family members from the age of 14 – 15, until she was ultimately abandoned by her mother. At 15, she dropped out of school and worked random jobs. Eventually, submitting to the control and abuse of a pimp, seemed to be the only way to provide food and shelter for herself. Shannon has suffered numerous black and blue eyes, broken and bruised thumbs and ribs, teeth knocked out, and other various injuries. While the bruises and bones have healed, Shannon has never had the opportunity to address her dental needs.
Shannon endured this painful existence for 15 years until 2010. At that time, she completed an in-patient treatment program to address her mental and physical health. After a couple more years of working to reclaim her life, the prayers and support of close friends, and a handful of women’s advocates, Shannon is now months away from earning her GED. She is hopeful that this credential will provide her the access to gainful employment and the opportunity to continue her education. She has spent many nights and weekends this spring researching and visiting colleges. Shannon plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice followed by a law degree.
At this time, Shannon’s immediate goal is to raise the $3700.00 for the dental procedures she needs to remove her remaining teeth and secure permanent dentures. Not only will this work provide significant relief for the extreme pain she endures constantly, but it will also allow her the opportunity to move forward and more aggressively pursue her academic and professional goals.
Thank you for your willingness to invest and support this phenomenal woman!
- alma jean billingslea
- James Pickard
- Ashekia Pinckney
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