I am an African American/Hispanic woman who supports Helen Price Johnson for state senator.

I moved to Whidbey Island 25 years ago. My husband and I had three children. Our first child suffered spinal meningitis when she was 2 weeks old. We had two more children who were each diagnosed with autism and developmental delays by the age of 3. Needless to say, any hopes and dreams of mine to attend college or work outside the home were dashed. Doctor appointments, therapies, early learning centers became our family’s world.

This process brought me into contact with many people who helped us along the way. Helen Price Johnson was one of those folks. Although she never knew my name, I knew she was working for families just like mine.

Because of that kind of support, I was empowered to raise my children, go back to school and get a college degree and a great job that pays a fair wage.

Sometimes I hear folks talking about how the underserved need to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Well, it wasn’t easy and could not have been done without help from people like Helen Price Johnson who stand up for families like yours and mine.

Jeanette Pritchett-Heynneman

Oak Harbor

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