NEW YORK - The food distribution line is long and the need for help is at an all-time high.
Since the pandemic began, Maritza Mejia-Ming has been giving out groceries and comfort at community outreach events.
What You Need To Know
- Maritza Mejia-Ming is Chief of Staff for the Brooklyn District Attorney
- Mejia-Ming is at the heart of operations at D.A.'s office, community outreach
- Mejia-Ming is one of few women of color to hold leadership positions in the state, country's legal system
Mejia-Ming, the Chief of Staff at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, says volunteering is just as important as her legal contributions.
Mejia-Ming runs the hiring, budgeting, and helps the Brooklyn D.A. manage investigations. She pretty much has her hands in everything.
“Maritza is like the heart and soul of the Brooklyn DA’s office. She grew up in the office. She’s been there her entire career,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
It all began when she was nine years old. Mejia-Ming met a family friend who was a paralegal and told her teacher about it.
“And he said a paralegal? Mitzy, you’re so smart, you could be a lawyer,” said the Chief of Staff with a smile.
She graduated from Binghamton University and then Fordham Law School - the first one to pursue higher learning in her family.
Mejia-Ming was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Her parents migrated to New York City, first to the Upper West Side and then Washington Heights.
Her mother was a home-maker who raised five children. Her dad worked in factories as a welder all his life. Mejia-Ming has been working against the odds for as long as she can remember.
“It is a little exhausting but it has to be done,” she said.
The work doesn’t stop at the office. Mejia-Ming is a wife and mother of two. Her husband of 18 years also works in law enforcement.
“We didn’t meet at work. That’s best part of the story. We met on a Tuesday night at a club called Nell’s.”
Mejia Ming admits it’s tough being among the few women, and women of color at the power But she makes sure her presence is known.
“Children of color need to see leaders of colors. They need to see excellence in all phases of their life,” she added.
So if any young girl from the heights or who looks like her wants to pursue law, Mejia-Ming is showing them it can be done.