“I was born in DC, raised in Northwest and I moved to Ward Seven five years ago. I did my last year of high school at Dumbarton Senior High. From there, I started working for the DC government at 17. I will never forget it, I graduated on a Friday and I started work that Monday. I didn’t have a break. I started off as a time keeper at the Water Department for the city, right by Howard University campus. My sister, who is seven years older, was a supervisor there and helped me get a job. They had 12 open positions and two were for women and the rest were for men. The men were going to be meter readers and the women would be administrative staff.
“My sister became my supervisor and she was really strict with me. I wasn’t allowed to take any time off for two and a half years. But, she taught me to be grounded and never to be lazy. She was big on integrity. She pushed me to work hard and to be at work every day and on time. I'm telling you, she was really hard on me. I would come to work with headaches, but I had to be there and I had to perform like I didn’t have a headache. At work, I called her Ms. Lewis even though everyone knew we were sisters. She was my supervisor for two and a half years and then she got promoted. I was so happy when that happened because I love her, but I was tired of having her as my boss. We were living together, ate lunch together and even commuted together in the beginning until I got my own car. It was a lot!
“Since then, I worked with the Department of Public Works, the Police Department, the Department of Transportation, Metro, the City’s Administrator’s Office, and now the Department of the Treasury. I have learned so much about working and about myself in these jobs. I’ve also met my closest friends and my mentor working in these places. Now, I don’t know what a normal work day is. My friends may get off at six, but I won’t get off until eight or ten. When I get home, I spend as much time as my eyes and body will allow me to with my son. The big excitement is that we are preparing for his college. My son knows how hard I work and he understands that I am single Mom. He knows that I work so hard to support him. He knows that I work so hard so that we can survive."