There is a saying in my household, “never too poor not to help others”. I was an only child of a single parent mother. With only an eighth-grade education, my mother could only find work in various factories where we lived in and around the Bayonne, New Jersey area. Later as a teen, mother and I moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Although we were poor, and my mother struggled to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, she always found the time and money to help others, who were less off than we were. It is because of my dear mother and her unselfish deeds, I can now empathize with others in need. I can now empathize with neighbors and friends who work hard but still live in poverty. My mother always showed me no matter what life has dealt us, we can always help someone else.
I am of Hispanic heritage and a proud mother of three beautiful children. My youngest, Joshua, just completed basic training and is now in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and will graduate from high school this spring, 2017. My middle daughter, Kalina, attends Messiah College, majoring in Theater and Film. My oldest daughter, Reyna, is an assistant manager for an international clothing company near Philadelphia. She’s also the mother of my two-year- old granddaughter, Kyla.
I am expected to walk the stage with a bachelor’s degree from Elizabethtown College in business administration in May. I am also a graduate of the Martin Luther King Leadership Institute. I am a trained drug and alcohol recovery specialist and have received several awards including the Rosa Parks Award for courage in 2016.
Although life has taken me through many ups and downs, surviving a divorce from an alcoholic spouse, raising three children as a single parent, and going through extremely difficult times with local politics, I will always remember the lesson from my mother to help others. Life has also taught me to give 150% of myself to protecting and serving the people in our community, especially the youth.
Although I am no longer in poverty, I still remember the lesson from my mother, of serving others. I now have the tools and life skills needed to serve as your mayor. Today, you find a competent servant leader, an empathetic and driven person, who is ready to help you rebrand, restore, and rebuild Harrisburg. You will find that my imperfections make me perfect to serve you.