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ABOUT ME

Hi, I'm Ken

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MY BACKGROUND

My name is Ken Colón. I grew up right here in the Town of Islip, in Brentwood, and I am proud to call Islip home today. Now, I am running for Islip Town Supervisor to make the Islip a place where all residents can be free to thrive to their fullest potential.

 

Prior to my run for Supervisor, I led data management for suicide prevention at the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, focusing on identifying trends in youth suicides and potential interventions, and consulted for the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling & Analysis at the Yale School of Public Health. I am also pursuing my Executive Master's in Public Health at Yale, with concentrations in environmental health sciences and epidemiology.

Previously, I earned my Master's in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University on a full-tuition scholarship. I had the immense honor of being selected by my classmates as our student commencement speaker, and completed my Master's capstone project working on opioid overdose prevention policy for Montgomery County government in upstate New York. 

Before my Master's, I worked in Washington, consulting on various pieces of legislation introduced in state governments, including New York State. I also held a number of positions in the healthcare technology sector, most recently serving as the Director of Marketing & Business Development at Orderly Health, a venture capital-backed healthcare data company.

I earned my bachelor's in Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of Notre Dame, where, in 2015 during my sophomore year, I launched a multiple award-winning app for suicide prevention among high school and college students.

On a personal level, Notre Dame is also where I met my wife, Maria, who works as a resident physician specializing in emergency medicine. We first met in 2014, starting dating in 2016, and got married on May 1, 2021. She is my best friend and my rock; none of this would be possible without her love and support.

WHERE I COME FROM

Everything I am, I owe to my family. My father, Ken Colón Sr., served 20 years in the NYPD, reaching the rank of Detective in the Narcotics division. Over the course of his career, he did his part to make New York City's streets safer, getting the most dangerous drugs off the streets and taking down the kingpins who peddled them. Like many NYPD officers of his time, he was a first-responder on 9/11, and spent many sleepless nights over the subsequent weeks digging through the rubble at Ground Zero, searching for and delivering aid to survivors. Even after his retirement from NYPD, he still wasn't done serving, and took on a role as an investigator in child protective services. He taught me what it means to serve others and protect the vulnerable.

 

My mother, Karla Maldonado-Colón, immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador at the height of the Salvadoran Civil War. She was just 7 years old, fleeing her homeland along with her mother and younger brother, my uncle Carlos. It was tough adjusting to a new nation, a new language, a new way of life -- and yet she persevered. She worked hard through high school, earning her spot at Adelphi to get her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. Not only did she go to school full-time, she also worked full-time to pay for it, still managing to help out her mother and younger brother at home. After graduating, she worked as a nurse, then transitioned to a thriving career in medical sales. She taught me the importance of education and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Together they raised me and my two younger brothers in a household focused on faith, family, and good old-fashioned hard work.

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