Alicia Jones Peer Support Specialist  541.414.7463 I alicia@youthmoveoregon.com

Alicia Jones
Peer Support Specialist  541.414.7463 I alicia@youthmoveoregon.com

Alicia has lived in Roseburg, Oregon since the age of three. Her parents got divorced when she was ten years old and shortly after, her brother moved out due to abuse. At age eleven, the emotional and verbal abuse once endured by her brother transferred to Alicia. She found herself sinking into a deep depression and felt as if life was meaningless. No matter what she did, nothing ever seemed to be good enough for her mother, and it seemed as though the rest of her family had given up on her.  

In school, Alicia strived for success, but the stress in her personal life strained her passion for learning and love of knowledge. When she opened up to people and told them what was happening behind closed doors, no one believed her.

At age seventeen, Alicia was forced to endure constant abuse and felt like she truly had no other choice but to give up. However, she found hope in an unlikely source; her best friend's parents encouraged her to fight back and helped her to stand up to her mother and stepfather. In one week, the police were called to her house four separate times, but despite their initial helpfulness, they didn't believe her, and she felt that they too wanted to blame her for all that had occurred.

She finally found a social worker who did believe her and was able to help finalize her removal from her parent's home. A few days later, Alicia's best friend's parents agreed to take her in as a foster child. It was them who finally showed her the meaning of unconditional love and forgiveness. She had a new life and support system and was able to regain her passion for learning and helping others. She committed herself to giving back all that she could to her community and to finally having the childhood that she had been denied.

With the help of her foster family, Alicia graduated high school and enrolled at Umpqua Community College. Her first week of classes started off great, but on Thursday, October 1, 2015, everything changed. Alicia was on campus that day, the day that nine lives were lost, four of whom Alicia had grown up with including her best friend's twin brother. She couldn't believe what had happened;  in one brief moment, any sense of safety or security she'd had was ripped away. But despite everything, Alicia refused to give up; she felt she owed it to the UCC Nine to accomplish her dream, the same dream they had all been pursuing.

The following day, Alicia found Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon and has worked closely with YMO ever since. YMO has helped her to achieve tremendous personal growth and has enabled her to continue working with and supporting others.

Thanks to her foster mom's unwavering support, she was able to overcome her boundaries and work to forgive her mother. She now has a good relationship with both her biological family and her foster family and is grateful to have a supportive family and a great circle of friends.

Today, Alicia is living her happy days with her fiancé and two therapy cats. Her cat Maximus is a great cuddle buddy and has helped her to cope with her anxiety. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing and as a college student, she looks forward to learning new things every day.