Clayton says he's determined to not let his past affect his future. "I kind of put it in a chest. When I want to access it, I can. I'm very good at holding it, not thinking about it unless I want to," he says. "You can't let it define you to be a bad person. You have to grow from it and learn from it and be a better person."

Clayton says his abuse has impacted the way he treats others for the better. "I treat everybody with the utmost respect, even if they don't give it to me," he says. "If I can make one person smile a day, my goal's been made. I just want to be better than what he couldn't be, what she couldn't be. I just want to be the best—the best at being a great person."

Clayton says he hopes his story can help other children who may be being abused. "I just wanted to let everybody know to keep an eye out," he says. "People had seen that I had been there at one time and then all of a sudden I just was nowhere to be found, and they didn't think anything of it."

How Clayton's story helped save a girl from abuse in 2000


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