I grew up in a small working class family, moving frequently as my father traveled to where he could find work.
Except for a portion of my elementary school years residing in California, I grew up in Michigan and attended public schools. In high school, I was inducted into the National Honor Society and received the John & Elizabeth Whitely Business Award. After graduation, I enlisted in the the Air Force, received an Honor Graduate Certificate upon completion of the Administrative Specialist Course, completed the Legal Services Specialist Course, and then worked as a Legal Services Specialist. I lived in the Philippines for a few years and worked in various military and State Department offices. When I returned stateside, I lived in Maryland and worked in Virginia before moving to Virginia in 1990.
I relocated to Lunenburg County in 1998 and enrolled at Longwood College in 1999 to complete the degree program I had started elsewhere so many years previously. I graduated Magna cum Laude with a BS in Sociology and a Concentration in Criminal Justice. I served as Secretary of the Commuter Student Association, received two Citizen Leader Awards, and was inducted into three Honor Societies. I then enrolled in master-level courses and received a Certificate in Social Policy and Administration.
When my five children were growing up, I volunteered as a Cub Scout Leader and a Brownie Girl Scout Leader. I also volunteered as the Secretary of a church group and typed the newsletters for the PTA and homeowner’s association. More recently, I was a substitute teacher, served as the Secretary of the Lunenburg County Chamber of Commerce and Secretary of the Friends of the Victoria Public Library. I am an active member of the Lunenburg County Democratic Committee and a supporter of two local groups working toward environmental, racial, and economic justice.