The Amelia Project
Helping fostered young ladies heal and feel supported through the power of reading positive, life changing books
In honor of a beautiful soul whose life ended before she had a chance to live. The Amelia Project is about getting positive, life changing books into the hands of young girls who are aging out of the foster care system. Books that will help give them the tools, encouragement, and inspiration to make better choices and know their life ahead is not dictated by their past. Books that will teach them how to honor, love, value and respect themselves.
Shenomenal Women brings together 23 women sharing their stories of overcoming insurmountable obstacles. Young ladies aging out of the foster care system have endured what most never experience in their life. Many are often left with no support and no guidance to navigate life if no one steps in to help them.
We hope by sharing our stories through transparency, the young girls reading our book will see the struggles and paths we took to heal our hearts back to whole and emerge the woman we were born to be.
Amelia’s story told through the heart of Shenomenal co-author, Danisha Jeter, the mom of Amelia’s best friend.
Amelia Joy was my daughter's best friend. They met in middle school, but became close over the summer before high school. She entered the foster care system as a newborn, but got adopted out as an infant. However that same summer Amelia's adopted mother lost her battle with cancer and she was abruptly returned into the system.
She and her sister were placed with a Mormon family in Redondo Beach. They were very nice and loving, but Amelia had difficulty in fitting in and practicing their traditions. Her abandonment issues, grief, and not being able to relate to her foster family resulted in some difficulties in school, her becoming withdrawn, and on a couple of occasions hospitalized for not following her medication regimen for her type 1 diabetes which she was diagnosed with at the age of 12.
Her repeated hospitalization and delinquency resulted in her being removed from her foster home and placed in a group home for several weeks. It was right before my daughter's sweet 16. She wanted to cancel her party because Amelia would not be allowed to come. Miraculously, after a hearing days before the party Amelia returned to her home and was able to attend. My daughter was so happy.
The academic difficulties continued and Amelia fell too far behind, so she decided to leave school her senior year. Her plan was to pursue her GED. Covid hit and ruined the class of 2020 prom and graduation aspirations. So a few of us parents decided to throw the girls a surprise graduation drive by parade. Although Amelia left school. She still hung out with the girls so we decided to include her in the parade. We purchased her a cap and gown from Amazon to match the girls and she was honored too.
A few days after this parade Amelia turned 18. She with her foster parents decided her best option was to get her own apartment. She didn't like their rules and I'm sure they were frustrated with her behavior. So by July 2020 she was living on her own. They continued to monitor her, but essentially Amelia was left to her own devices with no education and no direct supervision to manage her condition on her own. During this time she was involved in an unhealthy relationship with a boy who didn't treat her respectfully. Her sister voiced her concerns about the boy to Amelia and she stopped talking to her sister.
Over the next few months Amelia and this boys relationship was quite tumultuous. My daughter turned 18 in September, and we took a week long vacation to Virgin Islands. We took Amelia along. A few days after we returned, Amelia made her first attempt to take her life by swallowing a bunch of pills because this boy broke up with her. Luckily my daughter had been staying with her a while because she found her and called 911. She was hospitalized for several days then placed on a psychiatric hold. Two weeks later she was released and returned to her apartment. She continued this on again off again relationship.
In early March of 2021, Amelia became extremely depressed. She began to voice the frustrations in her life. Not knowing how to realize her goal to be an ultrasound tech, not being able to learn to drive, not having a job, and this unhealthy relationship. Ultimately, Amelia began to isolate and pull away. It had been a few days since my daughter heard from her but my daughter would learn through mutual friends that Amelia had been sick, symptoms resulting from her intentionally not following her required daily insulin regimen.
The morning of March 28th Amelia's neighbor left early to run some errands. He was able to see her laying on the couch presumably sleeping with her arm hanging down as he walked by her door . He returned several hours later and she was in the same exact position, so he knocked. When she didn't respond he called 911. They broke into the door to find her dead. She had been gone at least 12 hrs when she was found. Amelia had given up. She couldn't see her way out of her current situation, she didn't have the tools to manage her life. She felt alone in this world and she left this world just like that, alone.
I tried over the years to get through to Amelia. Every time I was around her, I would encourage her. I gave her pieces of my story and my battle with abandonment and feeling unloved. I offered myself, my home, my wisdom. However, she never fully accepted it. After reading our book, Shenomenal Women, in its entirety for the first time, my initial thought was Amelia. I felt maybe if she sees the resilience of the 23 authors, she would somehow be encouraged. I was going to gift her with one of my books, but she died a few weeks before I got my copies of the book. My heart just hurts and weeps for Amelia and in her honor we are on a mission to get young ladies aging out of the foster care system a copy of Shenomenal Women. We need them to know they are not alone and there are ways to overcome the most challenging odds. Through our efforts and your donations, Amelia Joy will live on as we help young ladies who feel like she did.
Thank you for buying a book to donate and support a Shenomenal young lady