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Paris has always been an early bird. She was reading at age 2, and by middle school, teachers were encouraging her mother to send her to a private school so that she wouldn't get bored. She was even born two weeks early!

As the oldest of six children, Paris helped raise her siblings including helping her mother Monique with cooking and keeping the other kids in line. Her siblings half-jokingly called her “Junior Mommy.” The food that they had the most often was healthy choices from her mother's WIC benefits.

Paris remembers visiting her mother Monique at the Head Start center where she worked as a nurse. Paris would also sometimes read her mom’s textbooks. Her favorite activities as a kid were playing with babies, singing, dancing, and reading National Geographic

As she got older, Paris started working with pregnant mothers. 'Hearing their stories and having my own experience with a difficult pregnancy led me to learn more about maternal and infant mortality,' Paris says.

Today, Paris is pursuing this passion full-time as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University while also raising her own daughter. She certainly is busy these days, but anyone who talks to her can see that she's just getting started. 'It's what I always wanted to do, but I just manage the chaos,' she says with a laugh.

Are you a WIC Baby? We would love to tell your story! Email us at MDH.WIC@Maryland.gov or message us on Facebook or Instagram @MDH.WIC.