Sara Schisler

I was a daddy’s girl. I have always admired my father and wanted to be patient, intelligent, and kind, just like him. He was not only the sole provider for my family as a civil engineer, but also the primary parent of the household; my mother has been on disability since 2005 and is too sick to work. He was always present when my mother could not be; once at a large Girl Scout sleepover at the natural history museum in Philadelphia, a woman with a microphone announced, “Could the only gentleman here please leave the room so the girls can change into their pajamas?” He was a wonderful father and I miss him every day.

On January 15, 2013, my life was forever changed. I was in my afternoon chemistry class when my teacher received a call from the main office saying that my mother was there to pick me up; I actually did not believe it so the secretaries in the main office called twice. When I got there, my mother, my brother, and men from my father’s company were waiting for me outside. My mother explained to me that my father was in an accident at work and that we had to go see him right away. We were whisked away to a New York hospital and stayed in a waiting room with very little information about his condition. We waited for what felt like forever in this room, and that was when a few doctors came in and explained to us that my father fell from the Aqueduct High Bridge that morning and died. The news destroyed me. Through the years my family faced terrible burdens because of my father’s death, from financial instability to the emotional pain and trauma of losing my Dad. I had to find comfort and support from organizations, like Kids’ Chance of New Jersey.

Thanks to the generosity of the New Jersey Self Insurers’ Association & Kids’ Chance of New Jersey, college is now a reality. I will be going back to Susquehanna University as a junior student in the Fall. I will be pursuing my passions with a major in Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies. My ultimate career goal is to become a family counselor, like the counselors who have helped me through the grief of losing my father. Kids’ Chance of NJ gave me the gift of becoming a better person, the person my father would want me to be.