What is the best thing that you have received that was free?
Perspective. I am grateful for the people who enter my life and change my thought process. Over the years I have become more compassionate and I owe that to everyone who has told me his or her story and changed my perspective on life. With changed perspective I have learned to be thankful for all of life’s gifts.
What do you do that makes you a leader?
This year I started an Autism Speaks U Chapter at my university. This took my leadership skills to another level. My advisor warned me that it would not be an easy task, but I assured her I was up for the challenge. I contacted Autism Speaks, formed a direct relationship with the organization, recruited members and successfully held my first event, which raised over $800 for Autism research. I also was able to raise $500 for literature materials to be distributed locally filled with autism signs and symptoms, facts and statistics.
What do you feel most successful women have in common?
Passion. I feel that successful women do all things with passion and I believe that if you are passionate about your cause, you will find success. People can see and feel the passion you exude and they want to be part of it because they see the drive and joy you are receiving from your cause.
Tell me about an experience that has been educational to you.
My upbringing was very special because my parents were also foster parents. I can remember being 6 years old and not wanting to share my home or my toys with my new siblings, but this quickly went away when I learned how important this home was for my foster siblings. This gave me the unique opportunity to learn to share my home and family with many other children while learning to be open and empathetic. I also consider my previously foster and now adopted sister, Miriam, to be my very best friend.
What is your best asset? Why?
During my internships with Senator Carper and Autism Delaware, I found myself doing a lot of event planning and fundraising because I’m very friendly and approachable. My previous manager once joked that I was their ‘secret weapon’ since I could handle logistics, raise attendance rates and book the venue, singlehandedly.