I consider myself a life-long Virginian, however I was born at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to a marine family. Born premature due to substance abuse by my mother. Soon after my birth, I was placed in foster care due to lack of adequate care by my birth parents. After two years with a wonderful and caring foster family, my life changed forever when I was adopted by the most caring and loving family I could have ever wished for. Being adopted by the Pudhorodsky family is the best thing that ever happened to me. Mary Jane and Greg Pudhorodsky were a military family as well. Shortly after being adopted my family moved to Hampton Roads for the last four years of my Dad's active duty military service in the Navy. With a new healthy family I began to truly thrive.
After four years in Virginia Beach my family moved to Charlottesville, where I still consider very much home. I attended Charlottesville City Schools until the 10th grade when I started at The Miller School in Albemarle County. There I made friends that would last a lifetime, along with learning: honor, dignity, respect and service to others. This service to others I still consider important today, whether it is advocating for the underprivileged, or volunteering at the local homeless shelter, I strongly believe in the saying "I am my brothers keeper" That is one of the main reasons I have decided to run for Lt. Governor of this great State. After graduating from Miller, I decided to attend Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. I returned back home to Charlottesville to work in the Charlottesville City School System with special needs young adults. Through this experience I learned the importance of providing a quality education for all our young adults, no matter what zip code they live in or one's financial status.
After a year in the school system I worked in the Social Service Field as an HIV/AIDS Educator with the local AIDS Services Organization. During this time I recognized the fundamental right of healthcare to all of our citizens. I became an active member of the community and helped through outreach and hard work to increase the number of LGBT members of the community being tested and with an amazing team reduce the incidences of HIV in the community. During this time I learned the importance of advocating for civil rights for all people no matter based on race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. I also recognized the fundamental right of women to have autonomy over her healthcare decisions.
My strong stance on criminal justice reform comes from my own personal experience. I never truly understood the inequities that take part in dealing with the criminal justice system. My decisions in my mid to late twenties resulted in me having to come face to face with the realities of the criminal justice system in ways that I would of never have imagined growing up. I learned the hard way how the criminal justice system discriminates against undeserved communities. Seeing the vast majority of those incarcerated being people of color and the sentences they received being so disproportionate really disenfranchised me, and changed my views on how the Criminal Justice system was being implemented throughout the Commonwealth sector. This involves my strong opposition to Capital Punishment, the revocation of parole, the use of solitary confinement in our jails and prisons, proper medical and mental health treatment for those who are incarcerated, and treating everyone that is subject to the criminal justice system with dignity and respect. Upon my release I vowed to fight for those that needed to have a voice at the table.
Recently, I have worked in the Sales Office at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. I am in a long term relationship with a member of the Armed Forces and we enjoy the local attractions throughout the Hampton Roads area, along with traveling back home to Charlottesville to visit family and friends.