ShaWanna McPhaul

Public Editor, Student Association

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Endurance, motivation, and sacrifice are actions I had to perform to get my family and me to safety. Hurricane Sandy came like a thief in the night and began to destroy my home. I witnessed my home being damaged. As I felt helplessly unable to prevent the ocean water that had risen up my legs, I went into action to flee and go to a higher level of my home.

During this period, I was a student and unable to take a leave of absence. The conditions left us displaced from our home located in Queens, NY. Red Cross provided me with information that had us moving around NYC’s five boroughs, waiting for FEMA and housing assistance. Through writing and perseverance, my living situation changed within six weeks. We moved into another apartment in our previous native Brooklyn neighborhood. We were home. At the time, I had children attending high school, elementary school, and daycare. I continued to serve the NYC Department of Board of Education PTA as official recording secretary as well as an intern at SUNY Long Island College Hospital's neurology department.