I am a pediatrician at WakeMed and enjoy caring for a very diverse patient population of babies, children, and teens. I see first hand how hard families are working, and know there are way too many in our community struggling to make ends meet. One clear path to reducing family stress and improving outcomes is education. I became interested in the HOST home program because I am passionate about helping students reach their potential. I have so much respect for the hard work my young patients have put into their schooling, and am incredibly proud when they are able to overcome the many obstacles and jump through the many hoops needed to get them into college. I have seen too many times how small things--a needed car repair, an illness, a job change--can derail the delicate balance and force young people to drop out of school. To be so close to obtaining a degree and breaking the cycle of poverty, to have already invested time and money and then have to abandon this goal, is absolutely heartbreaking to me. My family and I want to do what we can to help students through a hard patch so that they can move forward to pursue a productive career. Being a pediatrician is all about prevention, and I’m hopeful that playing a small part in helping a student complete a college degree will go a long way to prevent bad outcomes not only for that student, but for their future children, and even their children’s children. What a great investment in the future of our community!