By Lizzie Gray
2019 and 2020 were shaping up to be wonderful years. I got my Associate’s Degree in Human Services from Massasoit Community College in May 2019. In the fall, Ruderman Family Foundation chose me to be an Intern at the Massachusetts State House through a new internship program. I was paired with State Representative Josh Cutler, who is the Co-chair of the Joint Committee for Children, Persons and Families with special needs. It was a perfect pairing because my long-term goal is to be an advocate in the disability community. When I wasn’t at the State House, I had a part-time job in the main office of my synagogue doing different administrative duties as needed. Life was good and I was hoping to get a job, move into my own apartment, and begin to be more independent.
Drum roll please…. In March 2020, along came the invisible devil– Covid-19. The State House closed, the Temple closed; I could not go to the city by train, I have no idea when or if I will be allowed back to either opportunity. What’s next and how did I cope??
As my anxiety began to turn ugly, I decided to try and find a silver lining. The following 3 things have really helped me get through this difficult time. Zoom has been my best friend! I am doing lots of online meetings via Zoom and other video platforms with friends and different organizations. This has helped me to feel connected to others and see that I am not alone on this journey. Second, I did a food drive in my neighborhood and collected about 20 bags of food to donate to the Easton Food Pantry. Helping others in need is very important to me and this helped me think outside of my own situation. Third, I decided to use my time taking an online class to pursue my bachelor’s degree and I am happy to say, I got accepted to Bridgewater State University!
I am looking forward to seeing what the next chapter holds for me at this unprecedented time. After all, we are all in this together.