On December 1, 1997, a 14-year-old freshman boy who had been bullied for years walked into the Heath High School lobby in West Paducah, Kentucky, and randomly fired a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Three students were killed. Five were injured.
One of the critically injured girls was 15-year-old sophomore Missy Jenkins, who was left paralyzed from the chest down. But just hours after the shooting, Missy did the unthinkable: she forgave the shooter, accepted her disability and reclaimed her life.
Since that tragic day Missy would graduate from college, become a counselor for troubled students, marry her college sweetheart, give birth to two children, speak publicly about her life to tens of thousands of youth and adults, write an award-winning memoir and confront the shooter face to face in prison.
Missy has earned many local and national honors, from “Kentuckian of the Year” to one of Ladies’ Home Journal’s “Most Fascinating Women,” and would appear on “Oprah,” “Good Morning America,” “Dateline,” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”
Missy Jenkins Smith will be at Vienna High School gymnasium Friday, Feb. 13, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., to share her story with students and the public. Everyone is welcome to attend.
This is one woman’s story of love, forgiveness, courage and determination that will leave all ages inspired to make the most of each day.