After escaping abuse for the first time in the 17 years of her life, Fiona* was taken into care at the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter. During her stay, she became very close to Casey Krisell, her case manager. When the end of the school year drew near, and Fiona was planning to attend her high school prom, she invited Casey along as her guest. Here is the story through Casey's eyes:
"My heart is filled with so much joy! I got the privilege to go to prom with one of my kiddos from the shelter. No, it wasn't a typical prom situation but when a kiddo finally escapes abuse, and they get the opportunity to do something so special for the first time, then we make the best of it. One thing I am for certain is we did prom right and she looked absolutely perfect. My heart could explode. This memory will forever impact my life. Life isn't fair sometimes, but the beauty in it all is moments like this - pure joy and happiness. A girl who has fought her whole life to be free of abuse and neglect. A girl who has dreamed of living a "normal" life since she started living. And a girl who has thrived from the moment she escaped something no child should ever have to live through. She is strong, resilient, courageous, unique, ambitious and so simple. She inspires me and she is one of the million reasons I will never stop fighting for these kids. She deserves the world and I can promise you since the moment she stepped foot in the shelter, every single person has done our very best to give her and her sister the world because they deserve it. Last night was a sweet reminder that no matter how many hard days we have to face, these special moments make every single hard day completely worth it. If these kiddos can endure years and years of abuse then we can endure an infinite amount of hard days. We have to, because they need us."
The kids at the NWA Children's Shelter need you, too.