LaShanee King

Last updated: 2007

LaShanee King

2007 Beat the Odds Honoree

LaShanee King is a survivor. By the time she was in the fourth grade she had already witnessed physical and verbal abuse between her mother and stepfather. LaShanee remembers shouting, doors slamming, cursing and items being thrown. Not only were her immediate surroundings a threat, but her neighborhood was dangerous as well. She remembers when the front window of her home was shattered by some rowdy neighbors. At age 11, upon entering the sixth grade LaShanee was pressured to join a gang. From that point on, sexual abuse, violence, and sacrifice were constant in her life. LaShanee witnessed fights, rapes, and was a victim of sexual harassment on a daily basis. She would often fight physically with friends, enemies, and students she did not know. Thankfully, LaShanee realized that things in her life needed to change. Incredibly, she took control of her life and made education her number one priority in high school maintaining a 4.0 GPA for the entire first year. Defying all expectations, she did not stop there; she got involved in numerous extracurricular activities on campus including publishing a story that detailed the terrible events from her sixth grade year. As she progressed in high school, she was accepted into Advanced Placement courses and continues to receive remarkable grades. When looking back on her experiences, LaShanee states, "I do not want anyone to take my life story as a tragedy, because tragedies end only in misery, and like I said before, mine should be a celebration – the celebration of a survivor." The Children's Defense Fund celebrates LaShanee King as a 2007 Beat the Oddsâ recipient.


Elika Rezvani

Elika Rezvani

Class of 2007