A Hard Year and a New Job
The first year of the new millennium was tough for Celeste Victoria, said Dawn Torres, a sister. Shortly after returning home to New York City from Brazil, where she had filmed a documentary on its extremes of poverty and wealth, she was laid off. She was out of work for a year before finally finding a job.
From the time she graduated from New York University, Ms. Victoria, 41, had been earning a good living and supporting Jasmine, her teenage daughter. As a young woman — tall, very slender, with stately posture and a graceful stride — she modeled. Later, she worked in journalism and marketing, reporting for radio and NY1 News and producing talk shows for Manhattan cable television.
But she hid her worries, even from her family, Mrs. Torres said. "You could not tell she was going through anything," she said. "We didn't know she couldn't pay the rent and couldn't take care of her daughter the way she wanted to."
Mrs. Torres said her sister continued to dress with flair, hold her head high and behave vivaciously. "She didn't like people to be down," she said. "When she went to a party, she livened people up, livened the atmosphere up."
But last summer, her life took a turn for the better. She found a full-time job with Risk Waters Group, the financial information organization, which was holding a conference on Sept. 11 at Windows on the World. That day, Mrs. Torres said, Ms. Victoria was up early, to be there well before the 9 a.m. starting time.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on June 16, 2002.