FASD Hope is a podcast series about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), through the lens of parent advocates with over nineteen years of lived experience.
Episode 84 is an INSPIRATION-FILLED Episode with Melissa Jacobus. Melissa Jacobus has been advocating for her adopted children and the rights of all individuals with FASD since 1998. At the national level, she is a parent advocate and member of the Justice Task Force for the National Organization Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), serves on the Advisory Committee for FASD Communities and served as a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Centers for Disease Control's FASD Southeast Regional Training Center. In 2019, Ms. Jacobus was inducted into the NOFAS' Tom and Linda Daschle FASD Hall of Fame. Melissa is also active at the state in Georgia. Among her accomplishments, in 2012, she presented at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Suicide Prevention Program and the Supreme Court of Georgia's Committee on Justice for Children. In 2013, her work led Governor Deal to designate September 9th as FASD Awareness Day, which has continued under the current governor, Brian Kemp. Melissa co-led the 2018 Atlanta Training on FASD at the State Bar of Georgia. In May 2021, she published a book about FASD advocacy titled, The Accomplice. Melissa received a Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting from the University of Florida. She worked for the Tribune Broadcasting Company and she was awarded the company's highest honor for customer service before resigning in 1997, to devote herself fulltime to raising awareness and understanding FASD. She resides in Atlanta, GA.
In this HOPE-FILLED episode, Melissa explores the following topics: her family's journey, early advocacy efforts, when she shifted from local FASD parent advocate to regional / national advocate, her involvement in the FASD justice conferences, what led her to write her book The Accomplice, the importance of her faith, the living angels in her life and what she hopes readers can take away from her book.
"Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness." - Psalm 143:10
CLARIFICATION MESSAGE FROM EPISODE GUEST -
"Guest Melissa Jacobus inadvertently mentioned that she presented with Billy Edwards in Missouri and New Orleans, when in actuality, she presented with Billy Edwards in Mississippi and New Orleans."
EPISODE RESOURCES -
You can contact Melissa through the NOFAS website
The Accomplice by Melissa Jacobus
FASD HOPE RESOURCES -
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