Stephanie was well on the way to becoming “just another statistic.” Her father had been incarcerated. Two of her relatives had abused her. She was in high school and pregnant.

She was paralyzed by fear. Her fears included everything from continued neglect and abuse to being disowned. Perhaps the worst was her fear that she would let people down, particularly the baby growing in her belly. Her fears were not unfounded. As she said, “Most of my fears came true. My father got so upset with me because I was pregnant! He showed it to me in the worst ways.”

Fortunately, a school friend introduced Stephanie to No More Victims Inc., a signature COCI program. Thanks to the work of Marilyn Gambrell, NMVI Founder, Stephanie gained the support of a new kind of family. She persevered through every fear and every obstacle, receiving Marilyn’s affirmation: ”Because you exist, that makes you priceless.”

“Through the support of my NMVI family, I gained the strength to stand up and defend myself,” Stephanie said. Her pregnancy didn’t stop her from graduating high school. She went on to college, and, despite occasional breaks necessitated by the demands of childcare, is today completing an Associate’s degree.

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Stephanie now has three children and, as a mother, is grateful to NMVI because it helped her show her own children how to “keep pushing to do better.” As she says, “The NMVI family was there through the hardest years of my life. They provided me with a support system that we all so desperately needed on our high school campus. It is needed on every high school campus. It saved me!”

Stephanie is now giving back as a volunteer for No More Victims, Inc.