James McCarter

Service Array:
Individual Skill Development and Enhancement

My name is James McCarter. I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. The first memories I have of my dad was in the family area of the state penitentiary. He was there for armed robbery, trying to get money for drugs. My entire childhood existed of the trauma one experiences when living with someone addicted to drugs and alcohol. I remember stepping over and kicking my dad’s drunk and strung-out body as I was leaving for school. I would often ride with him when he would deliver the “dimes” in sandwich baggies to his friends. I remember the “buds” hanging on the drapes to dry out. I also remember the fights and abuse that addiction brings.

As a teen I started to follow in my dad’s footsteps, but I had a group of men step in and mentor me. They were able to intervene and give me positive childhood experiences. It was their intervention that kept me from walking my dad’s pathway.

My dad perused and found recovery. I remember on his road to recovery he also began to lose weight and when he did would experience “flash-backs” in the most inconvenient times. He has been clean and sober for over 20 years.

Today I am doing quite well. I have 14 children and 13 grandchildren. I have been married 30 years. My wife and I have been “Treatment Level” foster parents for 13 years. I find joy in passing on to this generation what my mentors gave to me. A life worth living.