My name is Rosalie McLearn and today I’ve been asked to share some of the benefits I’ve received from Ducky Derby funds. Before I do, however, I’d like to tell you a little about my life.
I’m one of three children who was being raised by a single mother. We lived in many places from state to state, but never in a home. In fact, most of the time we lived together in a van. During these years, my mother was diagnosed with cancer three different times and each time we were told she wouldn’t live long. Finally, my brothers and I were taken from my mother because she was no longer physically able to take care of us. Since then I’ve spend the past 2 112 years in foster care. My younger brother and I were together in the first home for a while, and then he was unexpectedly moved to another home. After I landed in my second home, I was moved, reluctantly, to Mistletoe School in the sixth grade. Last spring, toward the end of my sixth grade year and after many court appearances, all rights were terminated from my mother. My brothers and I faced more foster care and/or adoption.
You can see that with the childhood I’ve described there have been many opportunities fro me to have a negative outlook on life. Many opportunities for me to go down the wrong path. My stable, consistent school environment at Mistletoe is one reason I’m on the right path today. My teachers look for ways to provide their students with positive experiences that will last us a lifetime. In fact, last year I was able to spend three days and two nights at Shasta Lake where I learned so much about teamwork, camping-including putting up a tent, exploring Samwel Cave from top to bottom and then comparing that experience with Shasta Caverns. My mother would never have been able to offer me this type of experience. And, opportunities like these can’t be offered by public schools without a funding source. My Shasta Lake Research Expedition was almost totally paid for by funds raised through Ducky Derby. When kids like me are given these experiences, we are shown positive paths in a life full of negative ones.
So, I’d like to personally thank Rotary for making this fund raiser available to public school kids. I would also like to thank all of you kids out there. You probably don’t realize how much the money you raise for your groups means.
Sadly, I will miss my 7th grade class’ Ashland Shakespeare Festival Experience in May. However, I’m ok with that because my younger brother and I will become part of a family or our won. We are happily being adopted by a wonderful couple in San Diego.
I will never forget my time in Shasta County. My school, those who supported me and this community will always be with me. Thank you.