This week has been a very special week for me. On Tuesday, I was able to take a Greyhound bus to New York City to meet my half-brother, Mike, and his family for the very first time. They live in Colorado, and were in New York so that Mike’s youngest daughter could attend dance competitions and try out for auditions on Broadway. We spent a few hours together, getting to know one another, while strolling through Central Park. I have two more half-brothers and a half-sister that I have found online, and I look forward to meeting them all eventually. Family is very important to me, and I am blessed to have a wonderful one that includes both blood relatives and friends.
left to right: My sister-in-law, Stacey Schalk, neice Taylor Schalk, my half- brother, Mike Schalk, my neice Brooke Schalk, and me (Theresa Taylor)
I was also treated to a visit from some friends from the Netherlands on Friday. My friend Franka is a social work student in Holland. She was an exchange student at the College of Saint Rose last semester, and we have stayed in contact. She and her boyfriend Mike have spent the last several weeks touring the United States. We made a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. In January, I will be going to the Netherlands for 10 days to study the delivery of mental health services there. I am concerned about global health disparities and access to services. I would like to pursue a master’s degree in social work that has a global practice concentration. I eventually would like to work with the State Department, and have spoken with Judy Heumann, who encouraged me to apply for an internship with them.
Me (Theresa Taylor) with my friend from the Netherlands,
Franka Den Burger.
Speaking of internships, I was approved to begin mine tomorrow, with OSERS/Department of Education. I am excited to begin, and to get my feet wet, in government service, as working for the federal government has always been my career goal. My mother is retired from the FAA, and had also worked part time for several years with the VA; I have always wanted to follow that path, so this is a dream come true for me.
I will always remember this summer as the summer where dreams came true.