Hello!! My name is Katura Jackson and I am the Founder/CEO of Diamonds From The Rough, Inc. I am a mother to 7 children (2 girls, 5 boys) and one grandson. I have one brother and one sister, and my father is still alive. My mother passed away August of 2017, a few months after I made DFTRI official. I graduated from Plant City High School in 1991, received my AA degree in General Education in 2013 and I am currently working towards completing my BA in Psychology. Afterwards, I will pursue my Masters in Clinical Mental Health. In my spare time I like listening to music, sitting outside meditating, watching tv, word search, spending time with my family, and most importantly, spending time with God.
I have had several people ask why I decided to start DFTRI and the answer is simple but not so simple. I wanted to be the ear for children that I didn't have growing up. My parents loved me and I knew they did, but there were times when I needed to tell them things but I didn't because I wasn't sure they would believe me. When I was a senior in high school, someone took advantage of me (sexually) and it changed my whole life. My friends didn't believe me and others stared at me. I became mean, bitter, withdrawn, and started doing things I wouldn't ordinarily do. Why? Because I made a choice not to tell my parents in fear they wouldn't believe me, and kept it a secret.
When my mom passed away in 2017, I experienced depression like never before. I was having crying outbursts, yelling at my kids for small things, forgetting things, and more. When I realized what was going on with me, I immediately sought help. I tried group counseling but it was too uncomfortable. So I was referred by a friend to someone named "Ms. Liz" that helped me tremendously. She is a Christian counselor and used the word of God to help me overcome my depression. She told me that prior to my mom passing, I would take any trauma that I experienced, put it in a box (mentally) and leave it. My mother's death cause the box to overflow and left me with no choice but to deal with it. I thank God everyday for allowing me to recognize what was going on with me and sending me to Ms. Liz.
While I was doing my weekly sessions with Ms. Liz, I still tried to do things for the community kids because it gave me a sense of calmness and I knew I would be making a difference even if it was with one child. No one knew what I was going through because I kept it to myself and focused on healing. After about a year of counseling, I was ready to live my life and dive into my purpose. I started sharing my story with other women in hopes of encouraging them to not give up and to take a stand for their mental health. Although my passion is working with children, encouraging others is what I love to do as well.
I say all that to say, mental health is real and it exists in the real world. There are so many youth that are dealing with so many things such as peer pressure, bullying, abuse, neglect and more. What makes it worse is that some resort to suicide and running away because they have no one (or feel like they don't) to vent to. That is where I come in.
I want to be that person that these kids can come to when they need to vent. I want to be that ear to listen, shoulder to lean on, and arms to hug. I want to be the person that helps them realize and see that they are bigger than their problems and that they are loved.
So when you ask me why I started DFTRI, I will say "Because I care about our kids and their mental health".