As a former journalist, I traveled all over the country and world to tell stories. I covered the closing of the last Hmong refugee camp in Thailand and was in New York City to document the anniversary of the September 11th bombing. However, none of these experiences impacted me as profoundly as having children.
In 2005, I joined First 5 Fresno County, an agency that funds services that help better the lives of Fresno’s youngest children. At that time I knew working on behalf of children felt ‘good’ but I had no personal understanding of the critical importance of the work. After the birth of my two children, I realized my life’s work would not solely be judged by the tasks I performed, but also by the type of children I send into the world.
My family relied on public assistance and my six siblings grew up in the public housing projects in Southeast Fresno. My parents didn’t have much but they invested all the time and love they had in their children hoping for a big return. It paid off. Their seven children are college graduates, three were valedictorians, two were journalists, one is a medical doctor and there is a lawyer in training. I believe strongly that my family is an example of what can be achieved if our community invests wisely in children. It is my strong belief that the only way our community can do well is to do right by our children.
TCM Leadership Team Member
Communications Director, First 5 Fresno County