Age 37, Keene resident
Adult Protective Service Worker, Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services with The State of New Hampshire; Keene City Councilor
Birthplace: Boston, Mass.
High school: City Roots Alternative High School
College/post grad degrees: Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Salem State University; Master of Science in Psychology specializing in Forensic Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I am motivated to give back to the community because I personally benefited from community programs growing up in Boston. I was raised in a single-income family living paycheck to paycheck – had it not been for community programs it is possible I may not have had the same access to experiences and opportunities as my counterparts. It is my personal belief that it is important for children and adolescents to have exposure to a wide variety of experiences and opportunities so that they can explore and develop interests – expanding their perspective of what is within their reach.
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
This is a no-brainer. I would tell 22-year-old me to follow your dreams and say yes to opportunities even if they seem impossible at the time. If it is the right choice for you everything will really work out in your favor in the long run.When I was a junior in college, I had the opportunity to complete an internship with the FBI but turned it down because I couldn’t figure out how to maintain my apartment in Boston and live in D.C for a semester. In hindsight, it was foolish of me not to give up the apartment and just take the leap.
What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?
I believe New Hampshire can be more attractive to young professionals by expanding multimodal transportation and broadband services throughout the state. Young professionals desire a variety of options and want to consolidate their time whenever possible. They expect to access information and technology with ease and instantly. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of reliable and fast internet connectivity and the areas of New Hampshire where there is room for improvement. Even in Keene, there are places where it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to access high speed internet.
Volunteer activities: While I currently do not hold a formal volunteer position I offer assistance for events in the community similarly. For example, I actively serve on several committees as a City Councilor. These committees include the Ad Hoc Racial Equality and Community Safety Committee; the Ad Hoc Keene Reopening Task Force Committee; the Historic District Committee; the Planning, Licensing, and Development Committee; and the Joint Planning Board Committee. Also, I am a frequent Power Red universal blood donor-donating routinely through The American Red Cross. Lastly, as a SEA/SEIU 1984 Union Councilor, I advocate for state employees all across New Hampshire.
Last major achievement: The last major achievement I am most proud of is having completed my first year as an elected official. On Jan. 1, 2020, I was inaugurated as a Keene City Councilor. This was significant to me because not only was it my first time running for a prominent elected position but I also ran an independent grassroots campaign. I ran against an incumbent and a candidate who had ran several times in the past having name recognition. To say my freshman year has been unconventional would be an understatement. As a council we only met a handful of times before going remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the typical city business, the council also had to address ever-changing COVID-19 concerns such as whether or not to implement a mask ordinance, how best to support Main Street, as well as all small businesses throughout the city. Due to my personal and professional experiences I was honored to be asked by the mayor to join the Ad Hoc committees for Racial Equality and Community Safety and The Keene Reopening Task Force — both of which were established as a direct result of events that transpired on 2020.