Forks woman wins state’s first Spirit of Youth award

FORKS – Jessica Davila was not always an inspiration.

As a teenager in Forks, she woke up more than once in jail – and had to ask how she got there, she said.

Few people thought she could recover from alcoholism.

But on Sept. 17, she shook Gov. Chris Gregiore’s hand and received the state’s first Spirit of Youth Award.

She was selected by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee for her inspiring story of treatment and overcoming obstacles to recover and serve her community.

In 2004, even her defense attorney doubted she would succeed in Clallam County’s juvenile drug court, a diversion program that puts offenders in treatment to address their addictions.

In 2005, she relapsed after her 18th birthday, and nearly washed out of the program, but got a second chance in the adult drug court.

Now, she works full-time as an chemical dependency counselor at West End Outreach in Forks, carries a full schedule of courses at Peninsula College and cares for her two children, Damon, 4, and Tony, 1.

Those who helped her through Clallam County’s drug court said that her accomplishment is above and beyond that which they hope for the court’s participants.

“Part of the whole drug court thing is to give people their lives back, and she has gone above that and is giving people something in turn,” said Matt Dalton, who was the probation officer for the juvenile drug court and is now the county’s juvenile service probation officer.

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