Born: November 4, 1995, in Waukegan, Illinois. My dad was stationed there while he was in the Navy. But you’ll almost never hear me say that I’m from Illinois.
Educational Background: Bachelor’s in political science and journalism; did a semester of grad school, but I’m taking a break from that right now.
Low Point: Being depressed and suicidal
High Point: Graduating from college
Current Mobile Device/Computer: I have an iPhone XS and a MacBook Pro that I have been holding on to since like 2013.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a social media and communications coordinator at a small non-profit in Washington, D.C.
Other than money, what else have you gained from your job?
As cheesy as it may sound, experience and connections. I meet so many people doing the work that I do.
What do you love about your work?
I love that I’m working somewhere that is making a difference in people’s lives.
What do you not love about it?
The pay. Niggas got bills.
What was your childhood dream?
I wanted to be a surgeon, but then I realized I was bad at math and science.
When you make sacrifices for your work, do you tell people or keep it to yourself?
Ultimately, it depends on the sacrifice; if it is something that I feel embarrassed for having to do, I will keep it to myself for a while.
What are your favorite apps/tools that help you do what you do?
My favorite app is one called Digit. It’s a money saving app that pulls random amounts from your bank account and puts them into a savings account for you. It’s helped me save for trips and pay off a credit card. I recommend it to everybody.
Pinterest is another favorite of mine; every week I’m on Pinterest looking for new things to try in the kitchen.
Lastly, I’d say the Nike+ Run Club app. They curate a lot of content from playlists to narrated runs that keep me going some days when I’m running.
How do you keep track of what you’ve done?
I’m very methodical and very visual, so I write everything down, or I take photos of everything that I’ve accomplished so when I’m not sure about what has been done I can physically see it for myself.
What do you do to recharge yourself?
I look at other people that are doing the things that I know I want to do. Looking at others put in the work and grind for shit makes me put a fire under my ass and get to work.
What has been your biggest disappointment in life, and how did you handle it?
Dropping out of graduate school has been it for me. I’ve never been the type to quit or give up on anything, so that hit me hard. But I’ve come to terms with it and realized that it wasn’t time for me yet, and when it is time, I will be more than ready.
What is your most significant accomplishment? Is there anything you hope to do even greater?
Graduating from college early with honors. I started terribly due to not being focused, so being able to turn that around and finish in three years is something that will always make me proud. I hope to outdo it one day by getting my doctorate.
Who is the most influential person in your life?
My grandma. She’s one of the most hardworking people that I’ve had the pleasure to know. I’m huge on helping people who need it, and I have never seen my grandma turn her back on anybody who needed help.
What do you feel your impact is on those around you? What would you like it to be?
I like to think that my impact is that I make the people around me think critically, and that’s what I want it to be. Everybody is going to be ignorant to something at some point, so when I’m able to, I like to challenge the way that they all think about different things.
What’s the best decision you’ve ever made? Why?
Moving to D.C. I was miserable before I moved, and being here opened so many doors for me.
For what are you most grateful?
My support system. I have no idea where I would be without the people in my life.
What inspires you?
It’s kind of corny, but I draw inspiration from those before me. I always look at different historical figures and see what they’ve been able to accomplish, and it always makes me want to go harder. I also draw inspiration from social media. It’s so many people out there doing their thing, and seeing somebody else make a way gives me new ideas to do the same.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I can cook very well. I want to own a food truck one day.
Who is your favorite person to follow on social media?
On Instagram, it would have to be my good sis @doseofjuice. She runs this segment called Shady Talk every Sunday, and it is one of my favorite things ever. On Twitter, it would be my best friend @hoodopulence; he’s one of the few people that I think are funnier than me.
What piece of literature has influenced you the most?
That’s a tough question for me because I have so many favorite books for different reasons. But I’m going to say Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It broke down a lot of different things for me about navigating the world in my black body that I wasn’t truly aware of yet when I first read it.
What are you currently reading or is the last book you read?
I’m reading White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism right now, and it’s very eye-opening considering a white woman wrote it.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve read online recently?
In conversation do you tend to talk or listen more?
I’m guilty of talking more, but I talk too much in general.
What are you looking for when you have a conversation with someone? What topics do you want to discuss?
Whenever I talk to anybody, even my family and friends, I always listen out to hear if people are homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic, or racist, and I always call people out on it. I like talking about anything, though. A conversation with me could go from social justice to food to Rihanna to traveling. I’m here for it all!
If you were guaranteed honest answers to two questions, what would you ask and to whom?
I would ask Martin Luther King if he still thought integration was a good idea, and I would ask the Creator, “what is the true purpose of life?”
When was the last time you tried something new? What was it?
I tried a fried lobster tail this past weekend.
Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a while? If so, what is it and why haven’t you?
I’ve dreamed of opening my nonprofit(s) for a long time now. It’s what I feel my purpose is in life. I just haven’t been sure which direction I want to go or had the means to start yet, so it’s just sitting to the side.
When is the last time you cried and why?
A few weeks ago watching The Kalief Browder Story on Netflix. That shit broke my heart 30 minutes in, and I had to turn it off.
Where is your favorite place?
The beach. I always feel so calm and relaxed in or near water, and the breeze is amazing.
If you could take a one-month trip anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go and what would you do?
My boyfriend and I would go backpacking across Europe and Asia. We would spend about three-to-five days in each city and hit London, Paris, Rome, Prague, Phuket, Bangkok, and Dublin along the way.
How did you meet your boyfriend?
He slid in my DMs almost two years ago and has been my baby ever since.
What does it mean to allow another person to truly love you?
It means being completely open and vulnerable with that other person with no walls up.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Crabs and beer
What is your favorite food to prepare?
Alfredo. It’s funny because I can cook almost anything, but my friends always say that I “alfredo them to death.”
Do you have a favorite restaurant? If so, what is it?
Vapiano. I love pasta, and they always satisfy my cravings.
What is a song, album or playlist that everyone should hear?
“Bag Lady” by Erykah Badu
What is happiness to you?
I don’t know actually. I would describe it as just being able to be carefree 24/7.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned?
No matter how nice you are and no matter how great of a person you are, this world doesn’t give a fuck, and bad things will happen to good people. It’s nothing that you can do about it; you have to take what you’re given and make the best out of it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Leave them ugly ass boys alone, focus on school, and buy some bitcoin.
What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?
Taking my studies more seriously and saving the money that I had coming in.
Do you have a mantra or quote that guides your life?
Yeah, I have three that I tell myself when things aren’t the best: “This too shall pass,” “You can cry, but cry standing up,” and “You’ll never have to do today over again.”
How do you define success, and do you consider yourself successful by that definition?
Success, for me, is just those around me that I care about the most being proud of me. Oh, and being able to buy my mama a house. I think I’m on the path to success, but I don’t think I’ve reached it yet.
How would you like to be remembered?
As somebody that changed the world for the better, and if I can’t, then I want to inspire the person that will.
Is there a question you wish we had asked?
Something in regards to Beyoncé would do. Lol. Nah, I think this was perfect.
Who would you like to answer these questions?
I would love to see either my boyfriend, @__jaytovah, or my best friend @hoodopulence give them a go.