These are excerpts from the video interview.
On her father’s accident that changed her life:
My dad was an electrician. He was working for the New York City MTA and he was fixing the lights above the subway tracks and he was on an elevated surface. One of the train cars moved while he was on top of the elevated surface. There was no guardrail, nothing to really prevent him from falling. So he ended up falling about 20 feet onto the train tracks below.
[The accident] really transformed how my family operated as a whole. My dad was no longer the primary caregiver as he became permanently disabled and had to retire early. So my mom ended up taking on an additional job to help with finances, and to have the flexibility that she could leave in the middle of the day if my dad needed her.
On learning about Kids’ Chance:
My dad became a member of what's called Common Ground Alliance. It's a community organization for individuals with brain injuries. And through that I met Dr. Benson, who was familiar with Kids' Chance. This was around the same time that I had gotten my acceptance to grad school.
On her educational journey and professional ambitions:
I applied to Columbia University School of Social Work and I successfully graduated in 2019 with my Master's in social work. I am now a licensed master's social worker in New York. I primarily focus on working with teens, children, and also mothers and their babies.
On what she’ll always remember about Kids’ Chance:
I remember them being so welcoming when I initially applied and being so encouraging, wanting pictures of me in Columbia, wanting updates about how I was doing in school. Every time they would contact me about providing the scholarship, they would also ask how I was handling my course load.
I'll remember how relieving it was to know that I had help for my tuition and that it took some burden off of my parents — and knowing that Kids' Chance had helped take that burden off.