Gina DeJesus & Amanda Berry Look to Future a Year After Rescue

Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus
Corbis

When news broke that Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry, and Michelle Knight had been found nearly a decade after being kidnapped, everyone let out a huge sigh of relief!

It's been one year since the girls made their way out of Ariel Castro's Cleveland home -- can you believe it?

On Tuesday, DeJesus and Berry marked the anniversary of their rescue by giving thanks and joining others in the fight to protect victims at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Hope Awards in Washington, D.C.

"So much has happened this past year," Berry, 27, said in a statement during the awards. "I have grown. I am strong. And I have so much to live for, to look forward to. The future is bright."

The Hope Awards celebrated Berry and DeJesus by recognizing and honoring them as a sign of hope for all abused children.

"This past year has been amazing, full of healing and hope," said DeJesus, 24.

"I am spending time with my family and working with Amanda on a book that we are really excited about. I have also been enjoying new experiences, such as learning how to use new technology and how to drive."

Berry and DeJesus' book is due to be released some time next year. Knight's memoir, Finding Me, is sheduled to hit stores on May 13.