Welcome Rachel Contizano

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I am a single mom. About 4 years ago I was laid off while on maternity leave. At the time we were living in New York. It was difficult to find work and a salary that could pay rent, bills and childcare. After 2-years of trying to get by, we moved to Colorado (2010); where I was born and raised. Not long after moving into my mom’s house I applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); my unemployment ran out and I needed a way to guarantee child support and an early education for my son. Then in January 2011, my name had come up from the waiting list at Warren Village, single-parent transitional housing. I was going to school for court reporting, but shortly after our move my father suddenly passed away. That event changed my life and made me rethink everything I had been working on. The new career I had decided to go into was only to ensure financial stability, but it didn’t fulfill me so I took a leave of absence.

After many years of not knowing what my passions were I finally found them; policy, policy reform, advocacy, and non-profit. So not only did losing my job with a newborn, the death of my father, enduring the hardships of public assistance, and being an advocate for myself make me realize my true passion and life’s purpose, but also the pain my aunt and her children had to go through gave me the drive to want to change things in this country.

Three weeks ago, I started my journey to bring positive change to policy by starting an internship in the Colorado Governor’s office. I will be taking every opportunity to learn the ins and outs of policy and government. I am even on track to graduate next year in June. Being a good role model for my son is significant to me. Kingston will know that no matter what life brings, you get through it with your head held high, you always keep the strength and courage to follow your dreams, and you never to give up no matter what.

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