I would wait all year in anticipation of those summer months when it was time to go away to sleep-away camp. The experience was invaluable, as I formed lifelong friendships, learned how to live with others, build my self-esteem and be a leader. I sang, I danced, I played sports. At the time, I had no idea that in the years to come my career would reward me with so many special opportunities to connect with young people. For this I am most grateful.
I was small, insecure and didn’t have a real community of friends outside of my family. All this changed when my mother encouraged me to enroll in a performing arts school. My life was transformed permanently. I was surrounded by students with similar interests and I finally had a peer group to call my own. I built up my courage to take risks and express myself. I am convinced that my being exposed to the arts at that age set the stage for the rest of my life.