Dave Pelzer's biographical account tells of his teen years as an abused child placed into foster care in California in the 1970's. Currently working at an exhausting pace to spread his message of hope and triumph as a public speaker crossing the country for weeks at a time he recounts the events of his teen years that changed the course of his life. He was rescued in 1973 from a childhood home fraught with abuse, starvation, torture and neglect at the hands of his mother; deemed the third worst case of child abuse on record in California up to that time. Despite the newfound freedom and sense of family he got from his numerous foster families, he was still subjected to bullying and torment at school and in his neighborhoods as he struggled to fit in. Often he would put himself a risk of grave injury doing stupid stunts or taking dares to be accepted by his friends David and Paul. Life was better for Pelzer but still very traumatic as he approached the dreaded age of 18 when foster children are cut loose and must go it alone in the world. Pelzer was determined to succeed, after all he had been put through he refused to be complacent and let life beat him.
Pelzer admits he made poor choices along the way by sacrificing school for working menial jobs to save enough money to make it on his own, dropping out of school to work as a car salesman, and dreaming of a career as a Hollywood stuntman. He was fortunate to have the friendship of two men from his neighborhood of Duinsmoore, Mike Marsh and Dan Brazell, who preached to him to finish school and make something of his life. It was his short time living in this neighborhood that made all the difference to Pelzer and the man he became. It was here in the “Leave It To Beaver” world of Menlo Park, CA that he gained a sense of belonging that he had never known. His story is inspiring and has a positive message for kids who think they have a rotten life whether they are in foster homes or living with their parents. Dave Pelzer's message to value what you have, stay in school, work hard and to give your best effort in everything you do has been delivered to thousands of groups across the nation in his role as a spokesman for millions of abused and neglected children.
This report prepared by David Fletcher