Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Education: Psychology, CUNY York College
Growing up in a low-income neighborhood, Francine’s parents instilled in her the importance of hard work in order to be successful, and not going to college was not an option. When Francine started college, she worked a part-time job and commuted two hours everyday. She also volunteered with a tutoring program, where she was hired and fell in love with working in youth development. Towards the end of college, Francine took a field work class that required an internship, which she did with JumpStart, a nonprofit program that enhances literacy skills inpreschoolers in low-income neighborhoods. While the field work class didn’t work out, Francine stayed with JumpStart. Francine says that being able to work at her job and service a preschool classroom at the same time made up the best two years of her academic career. She discovered through these experiences that kids need and deserve the world, along with an entire village to push them to where they need to be.