Young Heroes

Jaycee Dugard

by Royalte Maddox from San Diego , California in United States

“We live in a world where we rarely speak out and when someone does, often nobody is there to listen.”
― Jaycee Dugard, A Stolen Life

125258The backyard that Jaycee lived inkrystle-ann.blogspot.comImagine walking down the street, kicking rocks and then a car pulls up next to you, everything goes black, you wake up in a shed not knowing that you will be spending the next 18 years of your life there. It was a typical school day morning, in South Lake Tahoe, California. A young girl is walking to school when a car pulls up behind her and from that point changes her life forever. This was reality for Jaycee Lee Dugard. She was born May 3, 1980 in Anaheim, California to Terry Probyn. She later lived with her mother, stepfather Carl Probyn and her much younger sister Shayna in South Lake Tahoe, California. When Jaycee was 11 years old, she was walking down the street to the bus stop, when all of a sudden a car pulled up. The driver of the car was Phillip Garridos and Nancy Garridos who tazed Jaycee and dragged her into their car. They threw her into the backseat and put a blanket over her and drove to their house in Antioch, California, where they held her captive and abused her for the next 18 years. A hero must possess integrity and honor and the ability to be brave in the face of horrible circumstances. Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped for 18 years of her life, she is now living with integrity and honor as well exemplified bravery through her entire healing process, therefore she is a hero.

Jaycee has many amazing qualities including being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness, respect and self-esteem. After being held in captivity for 18 years, Jaycee has had time to reflect on the trauma she endured from her kidnappers and is now focused on helping others,“Jaycee Lee Dugard has been a free woman for nearly a decade now, having been rescued from captivity in 2009. These days she’s advocating for kidnapping survivors, turning her personal trauma into change for others who’ve endured similar trauma” (Clarendon). Jaycee has turned her experience into support for others who have also experienced the horrors of being kidnapped. She lives and moves forward in her life with integrity and honor by supporting others who have also suffered in captivity. Jaycee did not get to experience all the things most children get to do. She lived in a rustic shed in the backyard with very few necessities, “Jaycee has learned to drive, too - another sign of her desire to enjoy her new freedom and take control of her life” (“Jaycee & Her Daughters”). Jaycee is now learning to do all of the things she missed out on in her life. She enjoys spending time with her family as well as spending time on a ranch with rescue horses to help her cope with the psychological issues. She has created a interactive school group (JAYC) which stands for Just Ask Yourself to Care. She defines her life by living with integrity and honor rather than regret and rage. Jaycee has made the choice to not feel pity for herself or for her daughters. She is also not going to give her kidnappers the satisfaction of ruining the rest of her life. Jaycee is going to live out the rest of her life telling her story and helping others tell their stories.

125250 Jaycee Dugard with a pony used in her family reunification program.pinterest.comJaycee Dugard is a fighter because she never gave up hope. She fought through sexual abuse, physical abuse and psychological abuse. She is brave for enduring so many years of her young life in such awful conditions. Jaycee’s kidnapper had tazed her, she was numb but as the brave little girl she is, she tried to claw away into the bushes to get away from her kidnappers, “Dugard tried to crawl or wriggle into the bushes, but Garrido grabbed her, then dragged her into the vehicle” (“Jaycee & Her Daughters”). Jaycee was brave because she tried to crawl away instead of just laying there and waiting for her kidnapper to get out of the car to take her. She tried to fight and get away but sadly she couldn’t get away. Jaycee wrote two books and they are both about how she was brave through the 18 years of being kidnapped, she never gave up hope. “But Ms. Dugard is different. Her book is brave, dignified and painstakingly honest, even when it comes to the banal particulars of how she stayed afloat” (Maslin). Jaycee Dugard reveals her true story with all of the painful details of her kidnapping and torture. It takes a very brave person to relive her most painful moments in life.

125255Jaycee two books A stolen life and FreedomPublishers Weekly.comJaycee Dugard has an optimistic outlook on life even though she was kidnapped and abused; she is now spending her new life helping her daughters and others live their life with integrity and honor and has proven her bravery by retelling her story. Jaycee is now learning how to drive and do regular things that people do in life. She was free from captivity at the age of 29 so she missed out on her whole childhood so she never got the chance to be a kid or go to high school or go to college. She has two daughters (Angel and Starlight Dugard) who were also held in captivity with Jacyee, but they are now free and going to therapy. They are getting better and they are able to now laugh at this experience. Jaycee inspires peoples not to give up hope, to always look on the bright sides of things, and to speak out when you see something wrong. Jaycee took the worst experience in her life and turned it into a learning and teaching opportunity to tell kids that your worst moments in life will work out for the better. Jaycee didn’t let her 18 years of her life being kidnapped have a horrible impact on her or let people define her as the poor girl who was kidnapped. She and her daughters are now able to laugh at the experience in life and she is writing books about it now. “My goal is to inspire people to speak out when they see something is not quite right around them. We live in a world where we rarely speak out and when someone does. Often no one is there to listen. My hope is that society changes in regards to how we treat people who speak out” (Dugard).

Work Cited

Clarendon, Dan. “Jaycee Lee Dugard and Her Daughters Have Learned to Laugh at Their Abductors' ‘Craziness.’” In Touch Weekly, In Touch Weekly, 11 Feb. 2018,

Dugard, Jaycee Lee. A Stolen Life: a Memoir. Simon & Schuster, 2011.

"Jaycee & Her Daughters: On the Road to Freedom; When Jaycee Dugard and her girls escaped her kidnappers after 18 years in captivity, it was feared they'd never recover. Six months on, these pictures say it all..." Woman's Day [Australia], 15 Mar. 2010. General Reference Center GOLD, Accessed 10 May 2018.

Maslin, Janet. "A captivity no novelist could invent." New York Times, 18 July 2011, p. C1(L). Biography In Context, Accessed 17 May 2018.


Page created on 5/25/2018 6:41:53 PM

Last edited 9/2/2021 11:43:11 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

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