Born in New Jersey to a single mom, I learned firsthand how hard it is for one parent to provide for family. When I was a child, my mother was laid off from her employer which she gave 19 years to. After her layoff, our lives changed. The end result was us moving to middle Georgia, where we'd be close to family and the cost of living would be cheaper. It was during my teenage years that I experienced a different world than what I was used to.
As a teenager from New Jersey, I was exposed to Southern customs and traditions. Though I clashed with those values often, I understood that people experienced life in a different way than how I grew up, which is what makes this country so great. Over the years, it gave me a more nuanced level of thinking and provided me with great ways to solve problems that I might have not been exposed to had I stayed in New Jersey. I was blessed with experiences and lessons learned from living in the Deep South but I knew I wanted to return to Jersey and I was granted the chance once I was accepted to Rutgers University.
Because I grew up in a middle-class single parent
household, I had to rely on federal student loans and federal Work-Study programs over my time in college to pay for my education.
While my primary focus was to sit in class and learn, my mother was working to put food on the table and to pay the bills. I've worked 40 hours a week on top of a full-time semester all throughout college to help my mom out and it helped me learn the value of hard work and the spirit of the middle class.
Throughout my time at Rutgers, I had several great experiences that I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. I studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, learned to speak multiple languages, was among one of the most diverse student bodies of any public college, and made lifelong friendships with people from around the world. My education was one of the most valuable investments I ever made. It helped prepare me for my life after college.
My entry into the workforce after college coincided with the 2016 Presidential election, which got me further in politics. After seeing Bernie's underdog run in 2016 and Donald Trump's victory as well as his current tenure, I knew that more younger people like myself should run for office because our entire system is run by a few and benefits only those few. With my desire to enter politics, I decided to run for US House of Representatives in NJ's 6th Congressional District. Having lived in the district for years and graduated from it's most well-known university, I saw the decay of the communities around me and knew that the incumbent's time had gone on for too long. It was time for an end. I was the first Democratic challenger in 24 years to a 30 year incumbent and gave voters their first option of who they wanted elected as their Congressman since 1994. Building on the movement set in 2018, I am ready to take that next step and lead this district as a Congressman you can count on.