I grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey with one sister who is 9 years older. As a kid, I loved being outside whether it was rollerblading down the block to my best friend’s house, exploring the city, or going camping with my family. I graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a specialization in Developmental Disabilities and Human Services. Post graduation I was a part-time nanny and then started working in a hospital as a Mental Health Worker in Children’s Crisis Intervention Services.
I have worked with children for as long as I was old enough to do so. I was a mother’s helper at 12 and 13, and in high school I was a daily after school sitter for 2 girls ages 4 and 10. I was with this family for a couple years until I left for college. I did school pickups, homework help, snack preparation, and provided entertainment until the parents got home from work. In college, I had several internships working with children. One of which was at an Early Intervention playgroup where I worked with children birth to 3 who had developmental disabilities or at risk for developmental delay. After college I was a part-time nanny for a 10 month old girl. With her I helped with nap time, warming bottles and then transitioned to preparing solid foods, as well as kept her busy with developmentally appropriate activities to ensure physical and intellectual growth. I then went on to work in pediatric mental health and crisis intervention where I worked with youth ages 5 to 17 who were in immediate crisis - this included mental illness and disruptive behavior at school or at home. I worked alongside nurses, social workers, and psychiatrists to create a safe environment, and promote healthy coping skills that the children would be able to use during their admissions and beyond.
When working with children, I strive to promote a safe environment where we have mutual respect. I understand that I am there to be a good role model, but I also believe that I am constantly learning from children as well. I like to make sure their voices and needs are heard in order to create an atmosphere where we are learning and growing together.