Girl Abandoned on Queens Street 14 Years Ago Is Trying to Go to College in U.S. — and May Get Some Help from NY Charity - NBC New York
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Girl Abandoned on Queens Street 14 Years Ago Is Trying to Go to College in U.S. — and May Get Some Help from NY Charity

A key New York charity, New Yorkers for Children, is considering Valery for a college scholarship one day after seeing her story on News 4 New York

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Then and Now: A Little Girl Lost in Queens, 14 Years Later

    UPDATE: To donate to the Valery Fund, click here. Her story captivated the city, left abandoned on a Queens street at just 4 years old in the middle of night with no shoes. Fast forward 14 years, that same little girl is now a high school senior in Bolivia, and is looking to go to college in the U.S. Melissa Russo first introduced the world to little Valery in 2005 and caught up with her about her remarkable journey, and the effect it had on each of them.

    (Published Monday, July 15, 2019)

    What to Know

    • A teenager who was abandoned on the streets of Queens 14 years ago after her mother was murdered may be on the path to a happier ending.

    • A key New York charity, New Yorkers for Children, is considering Valery for a college scholarship one day after seeing her story on News 4

    • WNBC’s Melissa Russo was tapped by city officials to help solve the mystery of her identity by interviewing the child on TV in 2005

    A teenager who was abandoned on the streets of Queens 14 years ago after her mother was murdered may be on the path to a happier ending.

    A key New York charity, New Yorkers for Children, is considering Valery for a college scholarship one day after seeing her story on News 4 New York.

    They’ve also set up a fund in Valery’s name, where the public can contribute to Valery’s education.

    Valery, who is 18 and is entering her senior year in high school, has been living in Bolivia with her maternal grandmother. Her stepfather confessed to murdering her mother, Monica Rivadiniera Lozada in Queens in 2005.

    NY Charity May Help Abandoned Queens Girl With College

    [NY] NY Charity May Help Abandoned Queens Girl With College

    She was a little girl lost, abandoned on a Queens street in the middle of the night in 2005. Now she's trying to go to college in the U.S., and a charity is considering Valery for a scholarship they give to children who experienced neglect and trauma, and have set up a fund where the public can contribute to her education. NBC 4 New York's Melissa Russo reports.

    (Published Friday, July 12, 2019)

    The once soft-spoken 4-year-old captured the hearts of New Yorkers as officials struggled to identify her.

    WNBC’s Melissa Russo was tapped by city officials to help solve the mystery of her identity by interviewing the child on TV.

    “What is your mommy’s name?” Russo asked from the floor of the Little Flower foster care agency in Jamaica, Queens.

    “Monica” Valery whispered.

    “Can you tell us what your mommy looks like sweetie?” Russo nudged.

    “She looks like a princess,” Valery says with a smile and a collective "awww" is heard in the background, as everyone nervously wondered where Valery’s mother was.

    Fourteen years later, Valery still vividly remembers that terrifying night and the interview with News 4 that helped identify her and solve the mystery of her mother’s murder.

    “Yeah, I remember I was very impatient and I just wanted to see my mom again … and there were a lot of cameras.” Valery told us from her home in Bolivia.

    Valery told the I-Team that she needs help with immigration questions and tracking down money that may have been donated to her but never delivered.

    The I-Team reconnected Valery with the attorneys who represented her as a child.

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