Advancement Director Debra Wilken recently chatted with board member Sandy Santana. Sandy is the Executive Director of Children’s Rights, a New York nonprofit. Here is one of his insights on being involved with Jeremiah Program.
What inspires you about being involved with Jeremiah?
My background. My parents were Dominican immigrants, we lived in poverty in Harlem. My dad was always working 2-3 jobs, always trying to make ends meet. Making the monthly rent payment was a struggle. But we were a privileged family, because we had each other, and our family stayed intact.
I can’t imagine the challenges Jeremiah moms face, trying to make it for themselves and their families by themselves. Jeremiah’s support of single women inspires me, as well as what is being done for the children. Reach them early, and you change their life trajectory. I love that you can change for the better the next generation, and the next.
I always knew that I wanted to give back. I went to law school, then paid off school loans and helped my parents. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to pursue a public interest career.