Home: New Yorker for life. Age: 36. Profession: Special education teacher, board certified behavior analyst. Organization: The Inspired Community Project, Inc. Title: Founding CEO. Years in your field: Fifteen years working with children on the spectrum across NYC. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.
Current project: Creating a self-sustaining special education community in the Bronx. Recent recognition: Featured on the New York University Alumni website for putting community and people first. What’s been your big (or biggest) leap? From classroom teacher to director of Early Intervention Center to Founder and CEO in less than 4 years. Hobbies: DIY Crafts, spreadsheets and embarrassing those who underestimate me. Last book read: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, a non-fiction book by Barbara Kingsolver. Recently viewed and recommended: Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion on TED – YouTube. I watch it multiple times a year, as a teacher, advocate and education champion it gives me life.
Personality profile: Advocate dedicated to lifting voices. Moral compass: Equity. Advocacy. Empowerment. How do you define a perfect friendship? Bringing out the best in each other through support and mutual love and respect. What is your greatest joy? Creating a better world that my children will be able to thrive without the barriers that I had overcome. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Childcare. What is your “love language”? Social Justice.
What is the best advice you received growing up? Those who matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter. Be you. What is the best advice you received in your career? Children [and adults] don’t learn from people they don’t like. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? Google Calendar. I would not know anything about my life without it. What is your favorite app? TikTok. What is your go-to source of news and information? BBC.
What are you most passionate about? Smashing the status quo is my greatest passion, I see “because that’s the way we’ve always done it,” as a personal challenge. What is your philosophy? Empowered women empower women.
Currently launching an early intervention nonprofit that would provide no-cost services to families of children with disabilities while creating a sustainable workforce development program focused on supporting the holistic development of the employee.
What message do you want to send out into the world? Equity. We have so much abundance and so much need. The greed of a few should not overshadow the needs of the community. What widely held belief do you reject? “Picking yourself up by your bootstraps.” This is a construct made up by those with privilege as a way to write off those without privilege as “lazy.” What mega-trend most excites you? The rise of unions again. What mega-trend most concerns you? Anti-science and distrust of the scientific community.
What object would you first save from your burning home? Obviously, after family was safe and sound, my family’s passports. Travel is essential to me and replacing them would be awful. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Movie night with my husband and kids on the pullout couch eating snacks and laughing. What advice would you give your younger self? It pays off in the end, keep going. What day in your life would you like to re-live? My first date with my husband.
Personal mission: Create an impact that is exponential. Personal motto: Leave it better than I found it. Favorite quote: “I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do” (Jana Stanfield).