Growing up in Buffalo, a small city in upstate New York, I didn't live in a single family home surrounded by a white picket fence with my mother and father. Instead, I grew up around individuals with low paying (to no paying) jobs, drug dealers, food stamp users, Women Infant Child (WIC) program participants, and public assistance seeking individuals. It would have been easy for anyone to fall victim to complacency but following the norm was never one of my strong-suits. I've watched my mom work extremely hard as a single woman. Though we were susceptible to the struggle, she was able to take
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