The Legacy of Mitrice Richardson, Amber Dubois and the Missing Inspires “The Skool Kids” Series Creating Public Safety Awareness

More than 13 years after Mitrice Richardson went missing in the hills of Malibu on September 13th, 2009, Dr. Ronda Hampton, an integral part of the efforts to seek justice in this still unsolved case, has embarked on a new journey in an effort to create a new brand of awareness in public safety for children.
The Skool Kids Book Series brings together friends Amber, Mitrice, Jeremy, Phylicia and Wesley telling engaging stories aimed at teaching kids about safety concerns.
Hampton, a clinical psychologist and advocate for justice, releases her first book in the series, Amber Goes Missing, about Amber Dubois, who disappeared in Escondido CA. in February 2009, just months before Richardson.
The book is being made available on Amazon for kindle pre-order on February 13, 2023 in honor of the day Amber Dubois disappeared
The full book release date is May 7, 2023.
Dr. Hampton shared with Cali Mag her journey and inspiration behind the series;

“The Skool Kids Series came out of my desire to ensure that children were informed about what to do should they get lost, go missing or if a friend should go missing. When Mitrice Richardson went missing in September of 2009, it was clear to me that I had such little understanding of how to search for a missing person or what the first steps even were.  I was fortunate enough to meet Maurice Dubois, the father of Amber Dubois who went missing on February 13, 2009 months before Mitrice went missing, who guided me through the process arranging for searches and keeping Mitrice’s name in the public. 

As time went on I met Connie Lum who’s nephew, Jeremy Lum, went missing in July of 2009 and we started a non- profit to assist families in searching for their loved ones. Through our organization, REACH for Mental Health Awareness, we attended many community events discussing the issue of missing persons and I realized that young children needed to be better informed about their safety when out in public and I wrote the first book, Amber Goes Missing, as a way to communicate to children the importance of trying to remain in groups when out in public. 

Other books in The Skool Kids Series discuss such things as what to do if you get lost, what to do if you have to walk alone, how to search for friends and various other topics related children’s safety. 

The Skool Kids Series has been a very healing process for me.  After the death of Mitrice Richardson I found myself in a very dark place with no outlet. As I began to work with other families of missing persons I had a nagging feeling that I needed to do more and this book series just began to flow as if the books were writing themselves.  As each character developed I began to feel alive again and I felt that they had a message to send to the world as a result of their tragedy and that I could be the vessel that carried their message to the world.  I was also so fortunate to find an illustrator, Sydney Boiselle, who saw my vision and made these characters come to life.  Because the characters in this series are real people who lives have touched me, I needed an illustrator that would understand that Amber Dubois, Mitrice Richardson, Jeremy Lum, Phylicia Barnes and Wesley Tracy are more than just characters in a book and that their lives had and have meaning and I needed that to be conveyed through the art work. One of the reasons that I had to self-publish the book series is because I needed the books to be handled in a very personal way and I found that in an illustrator that made the words that I was guided to write come to life. I think when tragedies occur we have to find a way to make peace with it and I am in awe of people like Carrie McGonigle, Ambers Dubois mom, and her organization Team Amber Rescue which is a dog search team that she started after Amber’s remains were found; or Russell Barnes whom I was acquainted with when his daughter Phylicia Barnes went missing and has now established The Phylicia Barnes Foundation which raising awareness about missing children. 

The Skool Kids have a message to send out and I am just honored to be a part of that so that the lives of these individuals is not in vain.” – Dr Ronda L. Hampton

Dr. Ronda L. Hampton

 

See Also

Sydney Boiselle, Illustrator

California based illustrator Sydney Boiselle is a self taught artist who is currently in her second year of study at California Baptist University, majoring in Illustration. Telling stories through art has been a passion of Sydney’s beginning in early childhood and she has a unique ability to bring words on a page to life through her illustrations.

Pre-order Amber Goes Missing here.

 

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