Veronica Smith

Veronica Smith

Veronica Torres-Smith

Veronica Smith

As an avid supporter of education, I believe all children should be given the opportunity to receive a quality education that will encourage and build a foundation for their emotional, intellectual, and physical development. As a mother of two teenagers, I have always worked to ensure my children receive the proper support in their learning environments during the major stages of their development.

My beliefs and much of who I am is a reflection of my upbringing. I was born in the 80s in New York and moved to New Jersey in the 90s. This was the era of no cell phones for parents to check up on you, no social media for followers, and much of your time was spent outside. These times forced you to put the lessons you learned into action to ensure your safety, self-reliance, and to help you build relationships with your peers. It was also during these times of my life, I learned value in faith and family. As the caretakers of their homes, my grandmothers were big influences in my life and I spent much of my time learning the importance of support, empathy, and a mother’s love.

Today, I am a mother and advocate for my son, Isaiah (16) and my daughter, Sanaa (13), who are a big part of who I am and who I strive to be, and where I gained my appreciation for the adage “It takes a village.” It truly does take a village! I not only learned this with the birth of my first-born, Isaiah, but especially with the birth of my daughter, Sanaa.

Sanaa was born in 2009 with the congenital defect anopthalmia/microphthalmia. As she was diagnosed at six months gestation, my husband, Ronald and I were able to prepare for her delivery, and with this came a case worker who would tell us the benefits of Early Intervention. Although we were skeptical, we agreed it would be best to enroll Sanaa into the Early Intervention program with St. Joseph’s School for the Blind, as there was so much uncertainty of what her developmental needs would entail.

At one month, Sanaa began therapy with the Early Intervention program and with it I gained a support system in Sanaa’s therapist who helped me to build my confidence in parenting a special needs child. Sanaa officially started school at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind on her third birthday and although it was frightening, I knew I had to let her go to develop into the person she was meant to be with the influence of not just what her family was offering but what the educators in St. Joseph’s School could also provide. With Sanaa attending school, I was able to return to work and trust my daughter was receiving a quality education, loving care from educators who would be a great part of her development, and building unique relationships with her classmates. It has also provided Isaiah with ease of mind, as he is the definition of the protective big brother, and has enjoyed seeing her development while we are in a world of the unknown.

I currently work as a full-time Administrative Assistant at Stevens Institute of Technology, I am working toward a Social Science Bachelor’s degree at Saint Peter’s University, and sit on the St. Joseph’s School for the Blind Board of Trustees as the Parent Representative. 

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