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Survivor of tragedy now on giving side of charity
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper), December 23, 2010
Posted: January 10th, 2011

Jessica Jamil would like to thank all the people who helped raise her - from the probation officers to the social workers, Secret Santas and the charities, including Season of Sharing. Because living with her real family nearly killed her. When she was 13, her father raped her, stabbed her in the head and neck 32 times, and then left her for dead. Soon afterward, Jamil's mother abandoned her. "She checked out mentally," Jamil said. "I haven't talked to her since." Now 30, the single mother from San Mateo is [a] full-time working mom and student ... raising her 12-year-old daughter, Deja Sullivan. "I'm doing the opposite of how I was raised," Jamil said. "I just like knowing I'll have someone there for me whatever happens, and I'm there for her in any way she needs." Since her daughter's birth, Jamil has been assembling a team of life helpers. She went back to school to earn a certificate as a registered addiction specialist, and accepted $150 from the Pacifica Resource Center to pay for classes. She found a "grandma" for Deja, a friend's mother who cares for the girl when Jamil has to work. She's now going to the College of San Mateo at night to earn her associate in arts degree so she can one day become a probation officer and work with troubled kids. She works full time with autistic infants and toddlers at the Stepping Stones Center in San Mateo. "A lot of them don't have words, or they have sensory issues, so we just work with them modeling language and behavior," she said.

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