Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Before the Camelia Institute

"Even though I dedicated the name to my grandmother Camelia, my brother was my inspiration for this project..."

Having grown up in a tight knit Dominican family, there is no question to the role my maternal grandmother played in my life. My grandmother, Camelia, was an adoring woman who has played a large role in who I am today. Despite the integral role she played in my life, it was my brother Jaime who nurtured my passion for the elderly.

It is important to note that my mom, aunts, and uncles gave my grandmother lots of love and great treatment; however it was through Jaime, whom I idolized, that I really learned to care...  Roughly 11 years my senior, my brother was an adoring grandson who doted on my grandmother. It was through Jaime that I learned to be patient with a grandmother who suffered from dementia. Frankly, it was through Jaime that I understood the importance of caring for the old. 

Thanks in large part to Jaime, I am who I am today.  I am passionate about advocating for the elderly. I care deeply about increasing elder independence- despite their financial backgrounds. Not only do I want elderly to have a higher quality of life on a national level, I want this for elderly worldwide. Hopefully the Camelia Institute will fill this gap, at the very least, providing medical equipment to the under-served...

Special shout out to my sister, E, for motivating me and helping me find my way when I couldn't find it on my own.

-Jennifer Hernandez

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