When I was in college my first “real” job was working for the New York City Dept. of Health. They go by something else these days. I was a trained peer educator. I worked throughout various city High Schools and youth organizations. I would facilitate workshops on HIV/AIDS, Safer Sex Behaviors, Sexual Transmitted infections, and some other things. I enjoyed my position and the topics were very important to me. The only problem, was that it was a position only to be held by a college student, and I didn’t plan on being a professional student for the rest of my life. As Graduation approached I began to look for a Job. I applied for many and I took city, state exams. I came very very close to becoming a New York City Police Officer. Instead I chose to continue in the field of social work.
I had interviewed for a position as a Training Coordinator for a community based organization in the Lower East Side. They didn’t hire me, but a few months later around the time that I was going through the process for the police department, they called me back. They had apologized and asked if I would want to come back and interview for the position again. I had hit a little snafu with the department because of my weight. So I was on hold. I figured why not. They wanted me to come in during program hours and meet the youth of the program. I was to put together a quick workshop to facilitate for them.
I remember going there and being nervous. But I went in there and did what I do, and got it done. The youth were very receptive and I was hired. I worked for this CBO for about 8 years. There is a whole lot I can write about why I chose to leave them, but I will just say this. I had just had my daughter Devynn and felt it was best that I change my career. I really miss working in that field and have always wanted to somehow get back into it.
When my Donomite was diagnosed, I quickly looked into getting him services. What I realized was that there weren’t any services right here in the borough that I was born and raised in. The Bronx is one of the poorest boroughs, according to the most recent census and it is the most underserved. In order to get my son involved in anything I have to leave the borough or go to another county. That isn’t right. Fortunately I have a car and can travel, but what happens to the families that do not have that luxury.
So it is my dream to put together an organization that will host people with disabilities and allow them to participate in sports related activities, such as baseball, soccer, etc. I want to create a space where families will feel supported and comfortable to let their children be who they are. I want them to be able to flap when they are happy, and to grunt when they want. I want them to be surrounded by positivity and love. I want them to know that they CAN do it, no matter the limitations. Because where there is a will there is a way. And you just need to figure out the way.
I truly believe that the experiences and opportunities that have been placed in my path, have led me up to this. I am actively looking into getting my program started. I am in the process of getting my ducks in a row and am at the planning stages. Putting it all on paper, and next I will be looking for funding to get it started. Stay tuned to see just how far I go!!!!!