I was born in Eastchester, New York, right outside of New York City. Although I moved from New York when I was in elementary school, I always like to say that there is still a part of me that will always be a New Yorker at heart. True New Yorker’s are some of the most hardworking and friendly people you will ever meet. My Grandpa, who is a retired New York City fireman, is one of them. My father joined the Army during medical school and Uncle Sam moved our family from New York to Maryland for a few years, just outside of D.C., when I was six. And, as many Army brats can relate, I moved some more. Moving was never easy. Being a new kid in middle school is the worst! However, it is through all of those countless times of being the “new kid” and moving that taught me how to adapt to new situations and get to know wonderful people from all different areas and walks of life.
I earned my Bachelor of Arts from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and graduated Magna Cum Laude. While in college, I originally thought I wanted to pursue a career in National Security because I wanted to serve our country in our efforts in combatting terrorism. But, my desires shifted once I started working as a part-time student intern at the State’s Attorney’s Office in Frederick County, Maryland, where I assisted with all facets of case preparation dealing with domestic violence matters. It was through my two year stint as an intern at the Frederick State’s Attorney’s Office that I realized I wanted to be an attorney and advocate on behalf of others. I felt called to specifically advocate on behalf of children. During this time period, my family also adopted my sister, Meimei, from China when she was fifteen months old.
When my sister was adopted, I became interested in advocacy and issues relating to marginalized youth, especially related to the topic of human trafficking. During my last year in college, I wrote a research paper on human trafficking and presented it to my department. The paper was entitled: Shining Light on the Invisible Phenomenon of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST): The Importance and Role of Local Organizations in Maryland. I conducted on-the-ground research and interviewed individuals on the front line in combatting this terrible and silent epidemic.
While in law school at Regent University School of Law, I interned for the Honorable Tanya Bullock in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations (J&DR) District Court in Virginia Beach. This internship was a crash course in all things related to family law and I learned that this was an area I wanted to further pursue upon graduation. Another memorable internship experience for me was my summer at the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) in the Criminal Division in Norfolk. During my time at the USAO, I utilized my third-year practice certificate for sentencing arguments involving felonies, detention hearings for felonies, initial appearances, probable cause hearings, and supervised release violations. Some of these felonies included possession, distribution, and receipt of child pornography, wire fraud, cocaine trafficking, and robbery. During my last year in law school, I also interned at the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office where I prepped and assisted in prosecuting cases in the Office’s Juvenile Team. I’m grateful for all of the law school experiences I had and I believe each one of them has helped me be a more effective advocate for my clients, both in and outside of the courtroom.
I currently live in the city of Norfolk. I love the ability to enjoy all that city life has to offer, from great restaurants to concerts, and then still enjoy the beach life.