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Young Brooklyn woman triumphs over childhood troubles

Achieving The Dream!: From left, Sean Ringgold, Samira Todd; Dawn Saffayeh, and Ken Nolan, at the annual fundraiser held at the Mandarine Oriental on Nov. 7.
Brooklyn Daily
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Brooklyn Heights

Cheers to Samira Todd, who was honored by HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services as an Extraordinary Young Woman and Youth of the Year, at the agency’s annual fund-raiser held at the Mandarin Oriental on Nov. 7.

Nearly 500 guests, including Sean Ringgold actor and board member; Dawn Saffayeh, executive director; Ken Nolan, chairman of the board; Brooke Rosenthal, vice president; former ADP Scholar Mamadou Dione; Alonzo Randall, union leader Kuba Brown; and Penn Badgley, celebrity ambassador raised over $400,000.

Raised by a struggling single mother, Samira’s family lost their home and was forced into a shelter. In her first foster home, Samira tragically was abused at the hands of her foster parents. No matter what, Samira refused to give up and never succumbed to the stereotypes that society used to define her. “Poor, black, homeless, a foster child. I did not let those labels define me,” she said.

Today, she is a sophomore student at SUNY Oswego and hopes that her educational and personal experience will allow her to work as a psychologist who serves children and teens experiencing “rough patches” in their lives.

Dawn Saffayeh said, “Whether you can make a donation, become a mentor or contribute to a toy drive — it’s all making a difference.”

HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services: empowers children, individuals and families to overcome the challenges of family crises, addiction, mental illness and poverty.

Brooklyn Heights HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services [66 Boerum Place in Brooklyn Heights; www.hsvsnyc.org]

Read Standing O every Thursday on BrooklynDaily.com!
Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018
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