Vanessa Jackson has faced adversity, challenges and obstacles many of us would never dream of. But today, she can look back at where she’s come from and where she’s headed with pride.
On Monday, Dec. 12, Vanessa presented her newly published book "Skating's Our Thing! What is yours?" to the kids in the after school program at the Buckner Family Hope Center™ at Reed Road in Houston. The program enjoyed an author meet-and-greet, complete with cookies, autographs and photos.
Vanessa came to the Family Hope Center in 2020 from a shelter and as a survivor of domestic violence. She was also celebrating a year of remission from breast cancer. Her and children, ages 7 and 11, plugged into the services available at the Family Hope Center immediately and as much as they could.
“She began attending counseling and family coaching and was able to heal and move forward from her past traumas,” said Elli Malone, family coach at the Family Hope Center. “She attended parenting classes and gained tools to help her better understand her children.”
Through those classes, she was able to obtain behavior services support for her children. Vanessa made great leaps in her confidence, healing and toward her goals. But she’d always held a passion for writing in her heart.
With the encouragement and support of her family coach, Vanessa completed her first children’s book. In October, she released her first book, available on Amazon, “Skating’s Our Thing! What’s Yours?” to encourage families to create bonding experiences together.
Vanessa already has plans for more books in the future.
“Despite the many challenges Vanessa has faced, she has persevered and used all of these obstacles to make her stronger,” Malone shared. “When she speaks, it’s with a humbled confidence that can only be gained from turning the worst situation into an opportunity.”
Vanessa continues to attend both family coaching and counseling while her children are plugged into the after-school program.
“I’ve personally witnessed how hard Vanessa has worked," Malone continued. "I have 100% faith that she’ll be successful in reaching her goals and that this is just the beginning for her.”