Community organizing was a value instilled in me at a young age. When I was a teenager, I was a participant in almost all of Queens Community House's afterschool programs, including the first Access for Young Women cohort, a girls' leadership program.
I’ve lived in Kew Gardens all my life. My parents were German immigrants who moved to New York during the war. They spoke German and English with us children at home and French when they didn’t want us to understand. That’s what sparked my great love for languages.
I started attending St. Lukes in Forest Hills after my sister passed in 2002 . I joined in order to take my niece, who’d grown up going to church with her mom. I slowly got involved, first by joining the choir, then by joining the church’s outreach program.
Growing up in South Jamaica, it was either you get a summer job or you hang out at the park all day. Even at a young age, I knew the latter wasn’t for me. When I was 16, I applied for SYEP (Summer Youth Employment Program) and landed my first job working at a QCH Summer Camp in Forest Hills.
I started drawing and painting again in 2011 - it was something I really enjoyed when I was young but lost interest in during my late teens. During that rediscovery, Frank Ape was born in my consciousness. The initial concept was a creature similar to a human but not qui
Before I started attending the QCH All Starz afterschool program at Halsey, JHS 157, I had never played soccer a day in my life. A few months after I started the program, I realized I loved to play and was getting really good at it.
On September 11, 2001 I turned on the TV and saw a plane had just struck the World Trade Center. My husband was in the basement of the North Tower at the time. I called him and we spoke briefly. He made it out at 9:30, just before the building collapsed. Many of his friends didn’t make it.