Her father suffered from multiple sclerosis which had a profound emotional effect on her as she was growing up.
She was determined to stay out of trouble and be a good student, which was what her father wanted for her.
She recalls her time at Princeton being the first time she was made more aware of her ethnicity and that despite the willingness of her classmates and teachers to want to understand her, she still felt "like a visitor on campus." While at Princeton, she got involved with the Third World Center (now known as the Carl A.
Fields Center), an academic and cultural group that supported minority students, running their day care center, which also included after school tutoring.
Although she has campaigned on her husband's behalf since early in his political career by handshaking and fund-raising, she did not relish the activity at first.