NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is hoping to help ease the financial burden on Genesis Villella, 20, of the Bronx following the death of her mother, NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia.
The beloved officer left behind 12-year-old twins along with Villella.
The articulate big sister spoke about her new responsibility and the legacy her mother leaves behind with Good Day New York.
"I feel her spirit inside of me," said Villella. "I know I need it now and for the rest of the days to come. She is here with me today."
The 12-year veteran of the New York City Police Department was 36 years old and a nurse when she joined the force.
"My mom had a lot of different interests, but she always said that being a cop was her calling. My mom hated injustice. Even when she was in high school, she would befriend the people being bullied."
Familia was sitting in her command post vehicle after midnight on July 5 when Alexander Bonds fired a single shot through the window, fatally wounding her. Other officers then shot and killed Bonds as he tried to flee the scene.
"She was working in a really dangerous area. She is Hispanic and she was able to connect and build that bridge between the community and the NYPD. It was amazing that she was able to do that. She was a peacemaker," said Villella.
The college student says she is taking a year off from school to be with her younger sister and brother.
"Eventhough I feel I am mature enough, I am only 20 and they need a lot of help. I am so grateful to the NYPD and Frank Siller," said Villella.
Siller lost his brother on September 11, 2001.
"We are asking the community to come together and make sure they stand behind this family. Go to TunnelToTowers.org, we are going to take of any housing needs she needs right now. She has enough to worry about. We are going to set up a trust fund for them," said Siller.
"I am not scared because I have my family and the NYPD. I'm just sad because my mother was taken from me," said Villella.