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During the spring of my fourteenth year, I ran away from home. On a cold night in early February, I disappeared into a Kansas snowstorm. My family lived outside Kansas City. For much of our time together, Dad preached at Edwardsville Christian Church. We lived in the parsonage, a two-bedroom box just south of the railroad tracks separating the white and black parts of town. As the Civil Rights movement heated up, Mom crossed the tracks whenever she could. For that, and for other indiscernible reasons, Dad beat her. My story begins during America’s Civil Rights movement, a time when my family fell apart and my future became a struggle between parents and ways of life. Much of my struggle took place within my father's house. In running away, I found a new life. But I wasn’t alone. My journey also marked a rebirth for mom and for Jefferson Jackson, the black Baptist preacher who became my father and who raised me. Together, we lived in hiding and in poverty. From that beginning, I’ve risen to the highest levels of international charity, serving as senior vice president of World Vision U.S. and vice president of PATH before joining Global Impact as CEO. Take Me with You delivers a first-person narrative of a boy who found his future by running away. My childhood and escape from abuse has influenced my present work and driven a personal inspiration to leave a lasting mark on humanity. Today, as the CEO and President of Global Impact, I’ve made a career of trying to stop cycles of abuse, racism, and inequality. I'm the sum of my story, this memoir rooted in love, faith, and moral courage. Take Me with You is one boy’s story about choosing love, forgiveness, and the charity within—and about choosing to be positive. Take Me with You is a call to action to help those in need, especially children. As the statistics reveal, there is an alarming need both in the United States and throughout the world: • In 2013, 14.7 million children under the age of 18 were in poverty in the America • More than one in three African American children live in food-insecure households • Today, nearly 18,000 children under age 5 will die of mostly preventable causes, such as diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia. This translates to more than 6.5 million per year • Globally, nearly half of under five deaths are attributable to undernutrition • Globally, 51 million under-five-year-olds were wasted (malnourished) and 17 million were severely wasted in 2013 • 4 in 10 children fail to meet minimum learning standards worldwide • Each year, between 2000 through the present, there have been at least 10 million children under age 18 who had lost either one or both parents to AIDS • In 2013, 4 in 5 deaths due to malaria were in children under five I hope that my story will inspire you and encourage you to do whatever you can to change a life for the better. All children—whether in the United States or in third-world countries—deserve to have a fighting chance in life. You have the choice to live your life in a way that will change another person’s life for the better, and maybe transform your own along the way. Go ahead, make your mark.