MEET JEFFREY SOSSA-PAQUETTE
I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire with two brothers and two sisters.
We weren’t wealthy, and we learned the value of hard work and commitment to family. We grew and canned food. Chores were part of our daily routine. We worked hard, but we had fun
When I was 15, our lives changed forever, like far too many families, our father was no longer part of our lives. My mother was left to pick up the pieces, and despite unbelievable challenges, helped us to hold our heads high and always reach for our dreams. Thanks to that amazing woman, my brothers, sisters, and I didn’t just survive; we grew to be strong and independent adults, raising our own families. Today, there is no greater joy than watching my mother’s face as she sees her five children and eighteen grandchildren thriving as loving members of a great family. It’s a legacy we are all honored to carry on.
At 16, I left school to begin working two jobs to support myself and help my mother and my siblings. With great mentors, by age 21, I was a general manager.
Before going back to work, I decided it was time to finish my high school education and obtained my GED and began college at Becker University. I then went on to be a successful branch manager and loan officer in the banking industry.
My partner at the time and I both held demanding jobs and were each working every other day because we could not find childcare. We later learned the agency we were using was not passing our application to childcare centers or private day cares. They believed no one would be comfortable watching a child with two fathers. Finally, after eight long months, we were blessed when Kim had vacancies in her home day care. Kim watched Ashley for the next 2 ½ years, and Ashley lovingly called her Nana Kim.
About that same time, my entrepreneurial instincts kicked in, and I went back into business for myself. First, I bought a pizza restaurant, but soon realized the hundred-hour work weeks didn’t allow the time I wanted to be a father to a young child. We sold the restaurant, and I turned my attention to the childcare business.
I soon took over three childcare centers. Shortly after, a sagging economy began hitting childcare centers – just as it was hitting everyone else. Parents needed ways to cut costs, and holding centers together became more difficult.
Amid all this, we received another wonderful phone call telling us of a child in need of a loving family. That phone call led to us gaining an amazing son. Born addicted to heroin, he spent the first 3 years of his life fighting just to live. Every breath was a challenge, but he fought hard. Today, Rylan is a wonderful little boy who loves to be outdoors, play baseball and swim with all the other kids – without a breathing machine or being pumped full of steroids. Our family seems to thrive on challenges, and our newest addition is no exception.
Closing that restaurant was hard, but it wasn’t the first time I’ve been knocked down. Like millions of other small business owners, I just got back up and started again. I went to work for Toyota as a sales manager. For 3 ½ years I battled back, often working seventy hours per week, Julian and I built our childcare center into an amazing program with one hundred percent enrollment, and a two-year waitlist.
Finally, after years of watching her suffer, I watched in tears, full of pride, as she read her victim impact statement to the court. She told the perpetrator what he had done and how he altered her life forever. She made clear how the court system had failed her and how the system forced her daily to continue to relive her horror repeatedly.
My family, coworkers, employer, and community stood strong at our sides as we rebuilt our lives, and helped a young girl feel secure again. Through it all, there was no crying victim. Only the determination of a survivor and those who love her.
This is my second attempt to run for U.S Congress, unfortunately my last campaign was cut short because I suffered a stroke, that later I would learn was caused by three brain aneurysms, I underwent four brain surgeries and a year to learn how to speak again, allowing me the opportunity to thrive again.
I’m a fighter. I’ve had to be.
When I see a mother with her children and lines of worry on her face, I see MY mother. When I see an immigrant working in a restaurant, I see someone I know. And when I see a business owner working 20- hour days, I get it. I’ve been there.
My life is about determination and hard work. Nothing magic. Nothing mysterious. Just one foot in front of the other. I will fight with everything I have to restore America’s faith in our government, secure the future for our children, and stop the politicians from stealing the American dream and breaking the back of the American taxpayer. I’m asking to go to Washington to fight to do what is right for the people of Massachusetts. Together we can rebuild the American dream, stop the politics of division, and restore freedom and opportunity as real American values.