Horseback riding in Hawaii. I had no idea what was in store for me.
There was a time when my left eye wouldn’t close. This is a reminder of how far I’ve come. I’m so thankful!
I went to sleep one person and woke up another. This was the first day of the rest of my life.
I was so depressed that I stopped eating. That’s when they forced a feeding tube up my nose & down my throat.
It was a pink GAP polo shirt.
I remember exactly how the acid tasted, smelled, & felt.
Joe Jeans & a Ralph Lauren Belt
Funny how I can remember al of the details.
My cousin threw me in a cold shower to help alleviate my pain.
I took this photo in 2008. I’d just started exploring eyebrow pencils. I’ve definitely come a long way, but eyebrows are still optional in my world.
This was one of my first speaking engagements. I spoke to the young women at Family Focus-Evanston. (2008)
My audience always gives me so much more than I give them. I’m so thankful.
Thank you for always supporting me, Ms. Joanne. You are light to so many.
Who knew what was to come?
My family has supported me every step of the way. They’re a source of my strength & inspiration & they, too, have been impacted by what happened to me.
Such a beautiful young woman, inside and out.
Camp I Am Me (Illinois Fire Safety Alliance)
Some of my best memories on this journey have been at “Camp I Am Me.”
My “Camp I Am Me” family will always have a special place in my heart.
I was so inspired by my campers & fellow counselors.
IFSA “Camp I Am Me” is one of the most wonderful places on earth.
Me & J.R. Martinez at World Burn Congress 2009, New York City. I love him!
They were there through it all, my sisters.
I was in my 1st quarter of grad school when I was 1st attacked, so I was devastated when I had to put my studies on hold to recover. I was determined to get back in the classroom & finish my program . . . & I did! A setback is just a set up for a comeback!
Cook County State’s Attorneys Office Victim Service Awards (2010)
Courage Award Winner 2010
After receiving the Courage Award, I got a little emotional. I was shocked that someone recognized me sharing my story as courageous & helpful. (You never know the power of your story until you share it.)
Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez (2010)
“I was emotionally, physically, & financially devastated by what happened to me.”
Raising awareness about acid attacks at the City Council’s Finance Committee Meeting (November 2010)
I still cringe when I watch myself on television. I hope that I was articulate.
April 2011- Springfield, Illinois
Fighting for Illinois House Bill 2193
I enjoyed sharing about my spirituality with Moody Radio. I know that I have favor on my life.
“Three Causes, One Walk” Walkathon, Salem Baptist Church-Chicago (2009)
“Three Causes, One Walk” Walkathon, Salem Baptist Church-Chicago
This journey has taken me to some pretty amazing places and allowed me to meet some wonderful people. She is one of them. This is my friend and fellow acid burn survivor, Heike. She is strong, beautiful, and incredibly positive. She has inspired me in ways that she does not know.
I think this is the part when . . .
She said, “Honey, you need a CD. I want to play it in my car.” 🙂
WVON,The Talk of Chicago (Valentine’s Day 2011)
My late grandmother, Margo Butler, came to hear me speak at my alma mater. She was so proud & I was happy to have her there.
It’s hard to watch my self on camera or listen to my own voice.
Enthusiastic RDHS students. Go Panthers!
My friends from high school came to hear me share my story at our alma mater, Regina Dominican H.S. It’s nice to receive support from old friends.
So many highlights. Thank you RDHS!
Regina Dominican High School, my alma mater (2010)
Karli Speaks at the St. Francis Health and Wellness Fair (2012)
I shared my experience overcoming trauma. Please know that every survivor’s journey is different, so I only speak for myself.
Just Us Girls Conference, DePaul University (2012)
First Corinthians Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago (2013)
This must be the part when I describe how I jumped out of the trunk.
It amazes me how my pain has helped me to walk in my purpose.
I just connect with young women. Maybe it’s because I see so much of myself in them.
They do such great work with the young the women in their program.
Can you tell I’m in my zone?
Julian High School W.O.W. ladies. I love how they’re impacting these young ladies’ lives.
So much love!
It piqued my interest. I researched it. And then I pursued training. Whatever it is that you want to do, JUST DO IT!
I was so happy to be in her presence. She is so captivating . . . Kay Pranis, a national leader in restorative justice, specializing in peace circles.
Everyone should experience a circle.
My best circle yet. I loved these ladies from Fleetwood-Jourdain.
I was honored to receive recognition from the Rainbow P.U.S.H. Coalition. According to Rev. Jackson, my glory comes from my story.
I am so excited about the future. This is what following your dreams looks like. Thank you Billy Montgomery for capturing this moment.
Thank you for capturing this moment, Laura.
Subliminal messaging: You’re MORE beautiful, darling.