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‘Tuesday’s Children’ growing up 11 years after 9-11 tragedy

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Updated: 9/11/2012 8:49 am
By Erika Tarantal
NBC News

NEW YORK -- Today marks the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. More than 3,000 children under the age of 18 lost a parent on that fateful day.

Now, 11 years later, many of these young victims have come of age.

Caitlin Leavey is one of them. Lt. Joseph Leavey, a fireman and father of three, rushed to the rescue on 9-11. He was 44 years old when the Twin Towers fell. Caitlin was 10.

In the 11 years since, she has found comfort in community, specifically through programs offered by the organization "Tuesday's Children."

"When you're affected by trauma you need that nurturing, that support and that guidance," Caitlin says.

It's become tradition for Caitlin and her family to come here to her dad's old fire house by the South Street Seaport ever year on 9-11 to honor him, but Caitlin says she honors him every day through good works, and Tuesday's Children has helped her with that too.

"I first got really involved with their programs when I went on a trip with them to New Orleans for Habitat for Humanity," she says.

Caitlin has also taken part in "Project Common Bond," an international program offered by Tuesday's Children that connects victims of terrorism.

Tuesday's Children has evolved as the children have aged, offering not only opportunities to heal through service, but also mentoring and career help.

For Caitlin that led to an internship in the CEO's office at AOL.

"I had two great mentors, successful women who were amazing," she says, "And it really helped me with like my management skills."

Just one more experience Caitlin says will help her move forward toward her goal of helping other children affected by trauma.

"It's close to my heart," she says.
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