Deidre is a 29 year-old entrepreneur and mother. In 2014, she decided to follow her passion for baking by starting a pastry business and share her love of sweets. Her business slogan reads “baked from the heart” – something Deidre has needed a lot throughout her life.

At age 12, Deidre was abused and molested by those who were supposed to care for her. She was later abandoned and put in foster care. As a preteen dealing with trauma, Deidre simply didn’t know how to cope.

“I kept running away. When you get rejected by your family, then you think ‘I’m going to do this myself,” Deidre explains, “Fighting and running, fighting and running. That was basically my life.”

Deidra continued running until she turned 17 and the court sent her to Lad Lake’s St. Rose campus. There, Deidre received help in school, along with the therapy and support she so desperately needed.

When asked about her Lad Lake experience, Deidre says, “They treated me like a person, not a number. They really care… at first, I thought nobody cared about me. But when I came here [Lad Lake], I realized people do care if you just give them a chance.”

After Deidre left Lad Lake, her struggle was not over. She would later endure marital abuse and divorce. She came back to the one place she knew and trusted, and with Lad Lake again at her side, Deidre received outpatient therapy to help rebuild.

Slowly, Deidre began again. She remarried, had children and successfully started her own business. She says of her time with Lad Lake, “I learned a lot here. It helped me realize who I was as a person…. And even though there were bumps along the way, at the end of the day, they taught me how to be a woman.”

And quite a woman she turned out to be.

Facts:

  • On average, 80% of youth in residential care have experienced severe childhood neglect or abuse.
  • At Lad Lake, 95% of the youth in our care come from a family in crisis.