April 10, 2017
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a small rural town in Florida (yes, they exist). I was fortunate to be raised by both parents in the household and learned about the value of hard work early on. I also knew early on that I did not want to work as hard as my parents did. That’s why I think I excelled in school so much. While I knew we were not broke, I also knew we were far from being rich. I joined the Army Reserves as a junior in high school so that I could lean on Uncle Sam to pay for my college.
What are you passionate about?
I didn’t grow up in a very diverse community. As a matter of fact, I was lucky to have someone that looked like me in my classes. So forget about diversity of thought, experiences etc. Hence, the reason for me attending an HBCU (Historical Black College & University) because I had an opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, black, white, Asian, military, city, country, etc.–I loved it and I love learning from others.
When and how did you first become involved with United Way?
I got involved with United Way when I first started working with Lilly. I was an ambassador for my business area and from there I was hooked. I gave my money like everyone else and volunteered with different agencies.
Why do you support United Way’s mission?
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2009 and I honestly thought I was not eligible to benefit from United Way’s services. Boy was I wrong! They have so many services to help every member of the Indy community – regardless of income, family type, etc. I am blessed to have a job that has benefits to allow me to get treatment, my kids could go to school and still have food on the table. I’ve been involved in DLC in the past as an event participant, but I wanted to do more. After I was re-diagnosed with cancer in 2012, I wanted to do more than give money… I wanted to show my appreciation to an organization that helped me in my time of need. I wanted to make others aware of what United Way does and its impact. That’s what Live United means…it means working with everyone from the person at the bus stop to the one in an assembly line to the father seeking help for a newborn. We are all in this together to make this community the BEST it can be!!