I was born an unplanned child to a teen mother. No one was ready for me, no one had very high hopes for me, and my mom didn’t even have a name picked out because my gender wasn’t clear. Minutes into my arrival, I had already caught the world with an element of surprise. Six days late, at 3:33 am, December 31st, 1997, I was born. About a year into living with my mother, I was taken away and placed in foster care for almost two years. The most developmental years of a child’s life I spent locked in a basement at my foster parent’s house, alone, and able to see my mom and dad an hour a week, that is if they didn’t have other commitments. My mother fought for me and I cannot thank her enough because I don’t think that I would be the same person I am today if my mother did not instill values in me or push me to be a better person. This story was the beginning point of my interest in public service.

In kindergarten and living with my mother. By this time, I am already the oldest out of my mother’s three daughters, so I assumed highest responsibility and became a role model. As a kindergartener I read daily announcements, lead the class in everything we did, and discovered my gift of singing when I sang a solo to Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston. Singing is something that I am more than passionate about. I have sung to children, in talent shows, and in chorus as a class. Singing is a way I gave back to my community, whether it was purely for entertainment or to raise money for the awareness of something such as homelessness. Later in 5th grade I further gave back to my school by tutoring whole classes in math because our teacher was on maternity leave. In middle school, before BLS, I was an active member in Citizen Schools. Through Citizen Schools, I learned advanced math, and was able to help my peers again. During my time at BLS, I have been an active member in NSBE, National Society for Black Engineers. The name seems intimidating but at the end of the day, it is a large group of BLS’s rather forgotten about minorities. We’re a huge family and each day I am there, I honestly feel the most in place and I love being able to provide a safe haven for BLS’s minority. With this also comes more math help, which I am so passionate about. Freshman and sophomore year I really started to kick off my public service career when I joined a group called Keystone. Here we were given a $5,000 check to give to a non-profit. We also had a public service project every year to raise awareness for topics such as hunger, homelessness, and suicide. Through this group, I have completed over 122 hours of community service in the forms of walking with sponsors to raise money for the homeless, singing in talent shows, tutoring, helping keep teens out of gangs with the help of basketball tournaments and much more.

Summer after sophomore year I worked for MassCOSH, where I taught a work safety curriculum to teens and rallied for workers rights with SEIU1199, which was just so empowering. I think working for MassCOSH gave me the extra push to want to make a difference in the world, which ultimately lead me to applying to the Ward Fellowship. I have this adrenaline rush that I get from helping others and there is no greater feeling in the world, in my opinion, than seeing that you’ve made a positive impact in someone’s life. From a young age, due to the foster care and custody battles I personally went through, it has been a dream of mine to become a lawyer that reunites families. I think that family is the most important aspect of someone’s life and since I was a young girl, this has been what I wanted to do. I have been told that there’s no money in this type of lawyer profession but sometimes the money doesn’t matter. Making a change matters.