CHICAGO (CBS) — Some high school students in west suburban Aurora will get the chance to meet abduction victim Jaycee Dugard later this month, as part of their class on survivor literature.
Students in the survivor literature class at East Aurora High School study stories of people overcoming incredible odds; some real, and some fictional.
“The texts all deal with people and events where surviving was not a guarantee,” teacher Shane Gillespie said.
On April 25, they will hear from Dugard, who survived 18 years in captivity after she was kidnapped at the age of 11 while walking home from a school bus stop in California.
She was rescued in 2009, after she turned up at a parole office with her captors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, and the two daughters she had after she’d been raped by Phillip Garrido.
Since then, Dugard has written two books about her experiences, titled A Stolen Life and Freedom: My Book of Firsts.
Gillespie said students read Dugard’s first book for the class.
“They wanted to see if they could potentially communicate with her, whether that meant meeting her or talking to her. I reached out to who she had named in the text as her agent, and lo and behold we were able to connect with her, and it worked out really well for us,” he said.
Dugard’s visit to the school will be open to the public, for a $3 admission charge, with proceeds going to the JAYC Foundation, the charity Dugard started to help families who have suffered from abductions and other trauma.