Laid Off from St. Vincent's and Struggling to Provide

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The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund recently featured this Children’s Aid story about Chonise Blackman and her family. Below is an excerpt from the original article.

Ever since her high school took her on a college tour, Natalia Burks has had her heart set on going to Morgan State University in Baltimore to study forensic science. She has no connection to Baltimore, having grown up in subsidized housing on Edgecombe Avenue in West Harlem. But there was something about the romance of that tour that made Ms. Burks, now 18, believe she could go outside the customary boundaries of her life.

She took night remedial classes for six months so she could graduate on time with the rest of her class at Manhattan/Hunter Science High School, a small public school on the Upper West Side. She graduated in June, a year after her mother, Chonise Blackson, was laid off from St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, where she had worked for 23 years.

“ ‘I really want to make money, Ma,’ ” Ms. Blackson recalled her saying. “ ‘I want to get you out of here.’ ”

To which Ms. Blackson replied, “You get yourself out.

Click here to read the complete article and to learn more about the Neediest Cases Fund.