Johnnie Lynn Decker

Johnnie Lynn's husband died suddenly in 2008 after a 20-year marriage. At some point, as she worked through the shock, disbelief and grief, she discovered who she was and who he was not. She is using education as a way to turn her ignorance into literacy both in educational and in life. She left college 22 years ago to support her husband's career goals and to be a "good wife". From that day forward, Johnnie Lynn lived under her husband's rule and abuse. She thought it would get better with the birth of her son but when he was 4 yrs old (now 15 yrs old) she ran away for the first of many times to a domestic violence shelter. Each time her husband found them and she returned. She started school in 2008 and it has changed her life. She learned that she is not stupid, incapable or "wasted space on this earth." In fact, she has now learned that she is just the opposite. She plans to get her BA degree in Psychology and Counseling and wants to work for a non-profit organization dedicated to combating domestic violence and addiction as well as work on a "safe at home" project. After her son goes to college, Johnnie Lynn plans to pursue a master's degree. She volunteers her time by being an advocate for "those without a voice". As well, she volunteers at Interlink Counseling Services and teaches a class on addiction and its impact on families.

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