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Gifted in language, the arts and life in general, New Springville, Staten Island, resident 22-year-old Maurita Tam was on the cusp of greatness as a budding finance whiz who could sing like a nightingale and never got tired of learning.
After earning a degree in economics from Amherst College in Massachusetts, she headed to Budapest and Prague with the college's choir, and came home to a career-launching executive assistant position for Aon Corporation on the 99th floor of the World Trade Center's South Tower, a position she held for just a month before her untimely death on September 11th, 2001.
Maurita left behind a legacy of perfect attendance, musical achievement awards, educational honors — including second place in an elementary spelling bee and story-telling contest — and a family devastated over her lost promise of a budding life. "She was such a good, bright girl," said her mother, Julie. "She picked everything up so quickly."
It was clear from a young age that Maurita would expand upon her talent for language, especially in French, for which she earned several awards in intermediate school. She was fluent in Japanese and Korean, and she learned Cantonese and Mandarin.
She was frisky and gregarious. Her mother would chide her halfheartedly about her unladylike giggle. "She would giggle at every little thing and kick both legs up in the air," she recalled. Her room at college was a flop-stop for so many friends, who giggled with her, teased her about a pinup poster of an Asian performer and picked her brain.
For Maurita's mother, losing her daughter wasn't the only heartbreaking loss she suffered on 9/11. Her brother, Wai-ching, also died in the attack. He was waiting at the foot of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers for a shuttle bus to take him to his job in New Jersey when he was hit with falling debris. He died a short time later. "This is just too much, too much," she said in an interview after the attack, her voice cracking and barely audible. "My life is changed forever."
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    Gifted in language, the arts and life in general, New Springville, Staten Island, resident 22-year-old Maurita Tam was on the cusp of greatness as a budding finance whiz who could sing like a nightingale and never got tired of learning.
    After earning a degree in economics from Amherst College in Massachusetts, she headed to Budapest and Prague with the college's choir, and came home to a career-launching executive assistant position for Aon Corporation on the 99th floor of the World Trade Center's South Tower, a position she held for just a month before her untimely death on September 11th, 2001.
    Maurita left behind a legacy of perfect attendance, musical achievement awards, educational honors — including second place in an elementary spelling bee and story-telling contest — and a family devastated over her lost promise of a budding life. "She was such a good, bright girl," said her mother, Julie. "She picked everything up so quickly."
    It was clear from a young age that Maurita would expand upon her talent for language, especially in French, for which she earned several awards in intermediate school. She was fluent in Japanese and Korean, and she learned Cantonese and Mandarin.
    She was frisky and gregarious. Her mother would chide her halfheartedly about her unladylike giggle. "She would giggle at every little thing and kick both legs up in the air," she recalled. Her room at college was a flop-stop for so many friends, who giggled with her, teased her about a pinup poster of an Asian performer and picked her brain.
    For Maurita's mother, losing her daughter wasn't the only heartbreaking loss she suffered on 9/11. Her brother, Wai-ching, also died in the attack. He was waiting at the foot of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers for a shuttle bus to take him to his job in New Jersey when he was hit with falling debris. He died a short time later. "This is just too much, too much," she said in an interview after the attack, her voice cracking and barely audible. "My life is changed forever."
  • 3,308 80 15 January, 2019
  • Now Discovering the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with @juntos_viajando.
Also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, the Petronas Towers are twin skyscrapers in  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. #thediscoverer #nowdiscovering
  • Now Discovering the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with @juntos_viajando.
    Also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, the Petronas Towers are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. #thediscoverer #nowdiscovering
  • 4,001 50 18 January, 2019

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