I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine, a story that has:
...and empowered more lives than she probably can comprehend.
Her story has broken barriers that some deemed unbreakable.
Overcame and won battles that some considered unwinnable.
She’s a woman that knows no Achilles heel.
A woman that never fails to uplift both myself and countless others with each and every bold stroke she takes.
I hope that when you read this story about my friend, that you are compelled to lead and inspire in the ways that she does so beautifully.
In the way that shines light onto those that have been suffocated among darkness for far too long.
It’s Josie Carter’s freshman year of college at Miami University. A year that some say jumpstarts one’s independence into the “real world”. A year that promises new beginnings and fresh starts, where one can truly begin to find their true purpose and shape out their own life.
But as Josie sits alone on her dorm hall's bathroom floor -- defeated, depressed, and contemplating thoughts that consume only those who feel like they have run out of all other options, the ever awaited freshman year experience feels more like an inescapable nightmare.
Well, a few weeks earlier, Josie had experienced something that 1 in 5 women will experience in their lifetime.
Josie had been raped.
It felt like the end of her journey, like she had nowhere and no one to turn to. She felt like there was no one that could understand what she had gone through. She didn't even fully understand what she had gone through. A vicious cycle of confusion consumed her every waking moment.
But amidst these dark and grey storm clouds, with rain plummeting down harder and harder each day, Josie was able to persevere. Josie was able to fight. Josie was able to look her demons in the eye and say,
“You will not overpower me.”
After looking for a resource on campus that would be the support that she so desperately needed and longed for, and finding nothing, she decided to make one for herself. A community of support for all other students who may have also found themselves subject to the pain that she so undeservingly endured. A safe place to lift up survivors. A place for survivors to feel seen and heard... to uplift and overcome.
So Josie created SASS -- Sexual Assault Survivor Support.
She saw that a resource was missing within her community at Miami and created a solution. She took the initiative to build a group that would work to educate on the gravity of the SIV issues that plague Miami’s campus and beyond.
She was the change.
And now, the change that she became, the change that was built from the pain and trauma, can now be a bright light in so many people's lives. The necessary light that so many who were just like her so desperately need.
So I hope you enjoyed my story about this friend of mine.
It has truly changed my life and so many others.
I hope that you are able to tell others about this story about this friend of mine, in hope that her story can spread to all who need to hear it.
So that no one has to hear a painful story like this, ever again.