Kateryn Ferreira is a Community Engagement Supervisor for the New York Health and Hospitals system. As a first-generation Dominican American born and raised in Washington Heights, Kateryn has always carried a spirit of perseverance within her, and because of her desire to overcome challenges, she has been able to reach her goals and accomplish several amazing feats at her young age.
Growing up, Kateryn was no stranger to adversity and struggle. As the big sister in a single-parent household, she took care of herself and her little sister while her mother worked.
“She was always working,” Kateryn said. “I had to grow up fast, learn how to do things on my own and be very independent. This really fueled my fire to push myself to succeed in life.” Once she began her college education, Kateryn continued to work hard while studying and working full-time, which she recognizes was difficult and stressful sometimes. However, this did not stop her from graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from the City University of New York (CUNY). She then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Public Health, also from CUNY.
Upon her graduation, Kateryn quickly realized that working in the public health sector could help her positively impact her community at a large scale. While at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, she noticed the struggles of non-English speakers to communicate with healthcare providers about critical treatments and their wellbeing. It was at that time that Kateryn became a reliable resource for people experiencing language barriers at the hospital, while providing guidance to those trying to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system amid COVID-19.
Having graduated in the middle of the pandemic, Kateryn never thought that she would play such an instrumental role in the lives of others as COVID-19 brought an opportunity for her to work closely with those affected the most. She supported specialists and experts with their efforts of tracing COVID-19 in the New York City area — the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States for months. This crucial data was later used to create an effective plan to help control the spread.
As a true believer of self-power and motivational will to take on challenges, Kateryn hopes to inspire others to “take the first step forward,” as she likes to say. That is the reason why she also decided to start her own business on the side called Geminme (“the gem in me”), which is a platform of discovery and resilience. Her goal is for Geminme to become a community of its own that can empower and inspire others to overcome barriers that prevent them from achieving their own dreams.
Kateryn also understands the importance of having an Espiritu de Perseverancia (Spirit of Perseverance), which has been a part of her journey every step of the way. She knows how important it is to set goals for yourself and never lose sight of what you want. “With perseverance, anything is possible”.
She shared that one of the keys that led to her success was knowing how to budget herself and keep her finances in order, especially if she wanted to reach important financial goals and milestones.
As a recent homeowner and professional, Kateryn credits Mint with helping her manage her expenses and avoid overspending, and TurboTax for helping her understand the tax implications after a life change (like buying your own home) so she can enjoy a better quality of life and achieve her dreams.