Who am I?
I am a mother and a wife. I'm an advocate for community service, equality for ALL, and common sense regulations. I support health care for all, Medicaid expansion, a living wage, and renewable energy. I am a no nonsense fighter for what I think is the morally right thing to do.
There's a short bio about me already, but if you want a little bit more in depth, here it is...
I was born and raised in Tampa. My father is an Army Vietnam Vet and a Certified Public Accountant. My mother is a legal resident alien from Australia and works in accounts payable. For a family that loves numbers, it's funny that I'm really not into math! But I am very budget conscious. Living on a single income working while putting my husband, Dennis, and myself through graduate school was a careful balance of budget.
I was born and raised Catholic and attended a Catholic private school for 1st through 8th grade. I was a victim of school bullying. So when it came time for high school, I auditioned for and attended the dance program at Blake Magnet High School. I had a great experience there with fantastic teachers and all the resources of a brand new school.
I was a Girl Scout for 12 years. In that time, I earned various religious awards, earned the Silver Award and the Gold Award, organized and planned various events, and performed countless hours of community service. After I graduated, I then went on to be a Girl Scout leader for a troop for four years before leaving Tampa.
I graduated high school and followed in the family footsteps of attending the University of South Florida- Go Bulls! I started out pre-med but switched to Psychology sophomore year. I moved down to Fort Lauderdale with Dennis as he started Optometry school. After a year of working full time, I decided to go back to school for a Masters degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution before going on to pursue a Ph.D in the same field.
When Dennis graduated from Optometry school, we moved to Virginia for a few years and then North Carolina. While in North Carolina I volunteered with a wild animal rescue facility feeding and building enclosures for a variety of animals including lions, tigers, leopards, servals, jungle cats, binturongs, wolves, and more. It was a truly humbling experience with those beautiful animals. I also briefly volunteered with a wildlife rehab facility and got to release two falcons back into the wild.
Career wise, I have worked in the eye care field as an Optometric Assistant, Office Manager, and now Billing Manager. I have spent about a decade working with and learning all the ins and outs of medical and vision insurance.
While living in North Carolina in 2014, Dennis was diagnosed with stage 3 non-hodgkins lymphoma. After 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 3 weeks of radiation, he was declared in remission 5 months later. It was at this time that we decided we wanted to move back home. There's something comforting in being back in your hometown with your family. We moved back in March 2016 and then had our first child August 2016. It has been a crazy 4 years but it has definitely put things in perspective and inspired me to fight for what I know is right.
My life has always focused on community service and volunteering. It has been my passion. Now it's time to take that passion and fight for Pasco and all Floridians in Tallahassee.