Born to parents that immigrated to the United States in the 1960’s in the midst of the civil rights movement from the island nations of Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, there is no coincidence that activism, community service, and leadership are part of Monique’s DNA.
Monique is a true pillar in her community, a family tradition which she intends to preserve. Inheriting the commitment to public service from her father: a retired New York City Department of Correction Captain, Teacher, Elmont civic association past-President, and former Elmont Union Free School District Board Trustee, Monique has dedicated her life in the service of others and hopes to instill that same vigor of advocacy in her two sons, Brandon (7) and Brody (3).
Monique was seven years old when her parents decided to move from Corona, Queens to Long Island, in search of better schools and a safe, suburban quality of life for their children. She quickly acclimated to suburban life, attending Dutch Broadway Elementary School, Elmont Memorial Junior High School and later attending New Hyde Park Memorial High School where she was accepted into the Prestigious Academy of Finance program. After high school, Monique attended Saint John’s University on a partial academic merit scholarship, earning a Bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology.
While pursuing her law degree at New York Law School, she worked full time as a legal assistant for the United States Postal Service – New York metro area law department. Her full-time commitment to working and attending law school did not stop her from being awarded a public service certification for fully immersing herself in the full range of advocacy opportunities available. As a true champion for the People, from being elected Senator of her law school division, aiding legal permanent residents in completing applications for naturalization as part of a nationwide pro bono effort by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and NYLS’s Justice Action Center and taking the lead on campaigns with the New York Civil Liberties Union “Know Your Rights Campaign,” and the NY Civil Rights Coalition “Unlearning Stereotypes Project”, Monique tirelessly sought to educate high school students about their constitutional rights, such as right to privacy in school and freedom of speech and their rights when speaking to police officers and to create meaningful dialogue amongst students of various backgrounds in an attempt to dismantle stereotypes and create unity. At the end of Monique’s law school journey, she was a New York City Mayor Service Fellow, under Mayor Michael Bloomberg where she effectively introduced, facilitated and implemented service-learning projects into 20 NYC public schools as part of President Barack Obama’s National Public Service Initiative.
For over the past decade, Monique has served as a Board Trustee for the Elmont Public Library, serving as President of the Board for two of those years and was just nominated to serve on the County-wide Board of Trustees at the Nassau Library System. First elected to the Library Board during her last year of law school, Monique truly embodied the duty of being a public servant. She advocated tirelessly for her community, holding the line on tax increases for 8 years after the Great Recession hit, implementing environmental and technologically friendly measures all while ensuring a healthy budget for technology programming for seniors and children. Every year since being elected, Monique has chaired the scholarship committee, which has raised and distributed as much as $4,000.00 to graduating seniors in the Sewanhaka Central High School District. But her COMMITMENT to her community extends beyond the walls of the Library, serving on the Executive Board of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce for two years and being at the forefront of every community event, supporting her neighbors, friends, and community businesses, exploring every opportunity to voice her opinion and taking on opposing views.
Monique is an attorney admitted to practice in New York State and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York; a fearless advocate, committed to service and professionalism. After running for the NY State Assembly in 2012 with her 10 month old son in tow, she created the grass roots organization, Women L.E.A.P, serving to provide support and encouragement to women who run for elected office.