Why One Board Member Got Involved

Everyone asks, why did you get involved with SCAN?  My response is always “Because of The SCAN Progressive Dinner, of course!”  This is very true on the surface, but the real reason I’m involved with SCAN is tied to an experience that occurred more than 15 years ago.

As a naïve Early Childhood Special Education Teacher with visions of perfection, I wasn’t prepared when four year old twins, a boy and a girl, smelling like an ash tray, with matted hair and dirty clothes, entered my room.  Born with an addiction (fetal alcohol syndrome), they were placed temporarily with an aunt and her live-in boyfriend.  As the year progressed, so did the neglect and abuse.  Starting with a little bump on the head, then turning into numerous bruises, cigarette burns, cut marks, etc.  Their language was foul, including private adult topics.  Some days they’d eat like abandoned dogs not knowing when another meal would come.  On others, they’d sit in a trance or sleep all day.  It was a vicious cycle.

To detail what happened would fill a novel, but suffice it to say with my best efforts at that inexperienced age — with no SCAN — there was no happy ending.  No Family Support Programs to help the aunt.  No Public Education Program to assist me.  No Child Advocacy Center (CAC) providing a consolidated comprehensive evaluation, with appropriate services and interventions.  No Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) assigned to gather data and push through legal system on the twin’s behalf.

As I closed the door to my classroom on that last day of school, I wondered what happened to my perfect year?  I knew these innocent baby doves had fallen out their nest, wings broken. I’d left them behind with a little piece of my heart.  That’s why I love SCAN.  It’s why our community needs SCAN.  These children and I desperately needed these services, which are provided today through SCAN at no cost to victims of abuse and neglect.


Mindy Meredith


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