Years After YES Alisa Continues to Celebrate Her Recovery
Alisa Clark first came to YES in 1997 just after her father died of suicide. She revealed to her counselor that her father had sexually abused her since she was a little girl. YES counselor, Debbi Halela, now Director of Youth & Family Counseling, helped Alisa overcome the pain by working closely with her through multiple issues including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and chemical dependency.
YES also extended support to Alisa’s family. Her mother and younger sister participated in family counseling sessions, and her younger brother received support through YES’ SUCCESS Mentorship Program.
“This support was critical because we were all dealing with what happened. We needed the inclusive services to become a healthy family,” said Alisa.
With YES’ support, Alisa was inspired to become an advocate for sexual abuse victims following her treatment. She and Debbi started a YES support group for survivors of sexual abuse. She spoke to graduating classes at her high school and encouraged victims of sexual assault to reach out for support. Then in 2010, after competing on a platform that centered on support for sexual abuse survivors, Alisa was crowned Mrs. Auburn in the Mrs. Washington Plus America pageant.
Alisa continued to support sexual abuse victims in her adult years through her career. Through Younique Cosmetics she discovered her future as a professional makeup artist. She works closely with the cosmetic line, which provides income, and support, for survivors of domestic and sexual assault. Currently, Alisa runs her own professional makeup application company, Beauty by Alisa Clark, which was honored in 2017 with the WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award.
In 2008 Alisa met her husband Sean. Together they are the proud parents of 8-year-old Stella Marian-Grace. A year ago Alisa’s family decided to foster two boys from her church community. She and her family helped support the oldest boy through diabetes and celiac disease, and today both of the boys are healthy and thriving. They will move into a permanent home this year.
Alisa credits much of her recovery to the services she received as a young girl at YES. “Youth Eastside Services laid the groundwork for my recovery. I don’t think I’d be in the healthy place I am today if it had not been for the support of YES. It’s uncommon for adult survivors of sexual assault to receive that kind of support at such an early age. I’m very thankful I got that opportunity from YES and be able to step into that next phase of my healing journey.”
Alisa says YES is “not only a resource but a life source for the community.” As YES celebrates 50 years of service, Alisa hopes the organization will extend services beyond the East King County area. “It’s lifesaving. I’m proof of that.”
Hear more from Alisa and other former clients at our 50th Anniversary Celebration on November 2, 2018. Please make sure to follow us on Facebook, or subscribe to our email list to receive the most up-to-date information.