Third-place winner |

Third-place winner

By: Nicole Jaggi, Grass Valley

About: Katy Jamison, Nevada City

Chocolate. We all know it, and we all love it. For Katy Jamison, however, chocolate is a thing of life. Katy, coordinator of the Child Abuse Prevention In Nevada County Schools program for five years, knows the joys of chocolate for comfort and joy.

Why chocolate? It all started after the results of a puppet show to prevent child abuse, which left Katy and her high school “teachers” feeling unusually upset. During the ride back to NU, Katy passed around a spare box of thin mints, and ever since, she has kept chocolate readily at hand.

For Katy, though, her chocolate life is occasionally bittersweet. Child abuse, after all, is not a sweet thing. It can be quite devastating when she hears about child abuse, especially with her own history of it. Abuse itself, unfortunately, has not been her only challenge.

Katy first decided to return to school after the death of her sister, which was caused by a cerebral hemorrhage from cocaine use. In her quest to discover why such a thing occurred and to prevent it from ever happening again, Katy turned to CAPINCS.

How has Katy’s work with CAPINCS made a difference? Today’s children are the society and community of tomorrow. By working to prevent child abuse, Katy protects our children, our future. In addition to her work to help the adults of the future keep from being abused, Katy believes that she helps inform teenagers (today’s almost-adults) to help them become better parents and more compassionate teachers. Thanks to Katy, CAPINCS has informed more than 12,000 children about child abuse. Her teachings have caused many children to realize that abuse is wrong and that it is not their fault. The program also encourages children to report child abuse and to understand that they can tell about it. Katy believes that she’s successful every time she goes out.

No chocolate life would be complete without the occasional nuts. Katy finds them in abundance in her work with high school students.

She readily admits, “I think that’s why I get along with high school students so well; we’re all nuts.” When she’s serious again, though, Katy will exclaim vehemently that, no matter how nutty they are, she believes that the best part of her job is realizing teenage capacity for compassion. After all, she says, “I don’t think teenagers understand that they’re supposed to be selfish and uninvolved.” In fact, Katy is hoping to return to school again in order to work for her teaching credentials. She wants to be able to officially teach in high school.

Chocolate is an integral part of just about everyone’s lives, and so, it would seem, is Katy Jamison. You may not have noticed her influence, but she’s there ” in the smile of the child who’s received her telephone card and in the faces of the adults of tomorrow. She’s witty, very sweet, a little nutty, and, for many, offers something to hold on to when times get rough.

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