I am a Schenectady native and a veteran of the USAF. Soon after separating from the military, my addiction and mental illness spiraled my life out of control.

In 2014, I made a decision to take my life back. With the love and support of family, friends, and my community, I began a new, honest, and fulfilling way of life. I learned to love myself for the first time.

I volunteer at Homeward Bound Dog Rescue and foster dogs looking for a forever home. I’m involved with the STEM program (Strong Through Every Mile), which lead me to volunteer as a model in an event called Faces of Addiction for addiction awareness.

Being given the opportunity to be a part of the Off The Mask event has a deep and personal meaning to me. Coming together as a community is an opportunity to stop the discrimination, misconceptions, and prejudices regarding mental illness.