Even before starting my own family, children have been an important part of my life. While living in Houston, I had the honor of serving as a patient pal and infant care volunteer at Texas Children’s Hospital on Sunday mornings. I will never forget leaving the hospital in awe of how brave, hopeful and determined my new tiny friends were, as they faced unimaginable challenges. More than anything, they simply wanted to be a kid for a moment while we read a book together, or played a game.

Once Hayden came along, I came to know the love and joy children bring on a deeper, more intimate level. Watching my own daughter blossom into a bright and inquisitive five year old has shown me how capable young kids can be if properly educated. This front row seat to Hayden’s early learning journey coupled with my work for the Texas Education Agency inspired my involvement in early childhood education efforts in New Orleans.

Having a daughter served as an important catalyst for my work with Emerge Louisiana and Les Femmes PAC. The understanding that little girls need strong female role models to emulate served as a driving force behind these commitments and factored into my decision to answer the call for public service.

My love of children has prompted much of my community service over the years and this campaign is no exception. I am running for State Representative to ensure the next generation will have greater opportunities to live and prosper in our great city.

Last week I had the honor of having breakfast with Ministers and lay leaders at Cafe Reconcile. We were joined by State Representative Randal Gaines, Chairman of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams – both expressed their enthusiastic support of my candidacy.

We had an engaging discussion about important issues such as early childhood education, workforce development, homelessness and other issues pertaining to quality of life. The campaign trail has provided me with rich learning experiences and my visit with these inspirational leaders was no exception.

I have had the honor to worship at churches across District 98. With each visit, I find myself restored by an overwhelming sense of community and human connection, which helps me start the week with an open heart and positive attitude. I am grateful to have such enthusiastic support from the faith based community and look forward to partnering with them to make New Orleans a better place.