by Judson Mead
(The following article is reprinted from Mosaics, News of UB School of Social Work, Fall 2014)
Tabatha Lumley (MSW ’14) has known some bad days. She was left to fend for herself and her deaf brother, Michael, when her mother was deported to Jamaica from Buffalo six years ago (her father had been deported a few years before).
Seventeen at the time, Tabatha lived for a while without heat or electricity, getting Michael ready and onto the bus to his school for the deaf every morning and then getting herself to high school.
It was tough — but she got through. A grandmother and siblings in Rochester made a semblance of a whole family. Thanksgiving and Christmas were very special family celebrations. Tabatha became an American citizen. She earned a degree in criminal justice at Buffalo State College and enrolled in UB’s MSW program, intending to add a law degree eventually.
Then she suffered a loss she hasn’t recovered from.