Andrea A. Bernard became a young mother at the age of fifteen and at the time of his birth her son Elijah was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma and a detached retina in his left eye. Both mother and child suffered immediate hardships stemming from Elijah’s blindness.
As fate would have it, Andrea was already an honors student and sophomore at DeWitt Clinton High School, one of only a handful of Bronx High Schools with a LYFE Daycare Center in it. At the direction of her LYFE Program Social Worker, Andrea began working as a part-time Mentor at a residence for teen moms, Rosalie Hall. For three years Andrea worked at Rosalie Hall mentoring other young mothers on the importance of education and perseverance, and upon graduating she received a scholarship to attend Iona College for Communications.
However, after one year at Iona College, Andrea realized in order to improve her chances of finding employment in Media she would need to attend a university in the epicenter of the entertainment industry…New York City. Therefore, she transferred to Hunter College in Manhattan to maximize her experience and connections in the “big city”. In her second year at the City University of New York she landed an Internship at Roc-a-fella Records, a record label imprint of Jay-Z and Damon Dash under Island Def Jam Records. It was there Andrea was molded into a resourceful marketer through the influence of the musicians she was working with.
While at Island Def Jam, Andrea was introduced to key decision-makers of the radio industry by the Director of Radio and Promotions for Roc-a-fella Records, Bobby Dash. Within one year after the completion of her Internship, Andrea was hired as a Street Team Member for urban radio giant HOT97 and was quickly promoted to Sales Assistant. Upon the completion of her Bachelors Degree Andrea then transitioned to ClearChannel Communications where she led the local sales team as an Account Executive and New Business Developer.
Currently, Andrea and Elijah reside in New York City. Andrea is still immersed in the music and broadcast industry where she independently manages Sales and Marketing plans for a portfolio of both emerging and established brands. Elijah is a student at the Jewish Guild for the Blind, pianist, and a young tactile artist for the Children Art Foundation where his work was most recently on display at the 2011 International Art Exhibition at The Highline Loft.
Andrea and Elijah both seek to build Andy’s Haven using civic engagement skills they have learned from being active members in community development programs like Americorps and service programs at their hometown Brooklyn Tabernacle church.