Local woman shares story, mentors kids

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- Some people from the Youth Outreach Center were out a cleanup near the South Umpqua River on Saturday, and one volunteer had a special reason she was out there giving back.

Kasi Clausen, a leader of the cleanup, is always looking out for the volunteers. She could be heard reminding volunteers to be careful and stay hydrated.

Clausen's path appears to be on the straight and narrow. "I'm looking for safety concerns for everybody that's on the trail," she said.

But there's something you should know about Kasi: "I went to prison for 8 1/2 months," she said.

Abused since age three, Kasi hit the streets on her own at 12-years-old. "There was no help here, and the community was very judgmental," she said.

In no time, she says she turned to pot and meth. "Yeah, I have a record, and it's nothing that I'm proud of, but it's nothing I regret either."

Now at age 31, she's back in her hometown mentoring at-risk kids like herself and getting them involved in community service like this.

As the youth give back, she can't help but tear up. "I feel just truly blessed to be here to give back," she said. "To be able to give back and make people's hearts happy."