BREAK THE CYCLE

Big Small Things

Jasmine and Gobi discuss ‘big, small changes’ they are able to make to break the cycle of underrepresentation. Gobi describes what it is like to be raised by parents who immigrated from Cameroon in the 80s. Gobi describes her education in various PWIs as a test of ‘endurance not intelligence.’ She was able to endure, in part due to her strong familial foundation, her close relationship with God and her determination. However Gobi discusses the instrumental role mentorship played in her development. Gobi cites mentorship as the most powerful ‘big small change’ you can make in the life of a young Black student. In addition to pursing a career in dentistry, Gobi has pursued a Masters in Education which she hopes to use in tandem to her medical career so that she can continue to break the cycle for generations to come. Her platform, The Black Mentor Network aims to pair Black professionals in a wide range of fields with Black students with a wide range of interests in the hopes that having access to representation in these underrepresented fields (like dentistry where around 5% of dentists are Black) will give the confidence to young Black students to believe the future is theirs to design.

Gaining Confidence

I think what I've learned, and it's taken me a long time to learn it is you just gotta to do, you know, like you whoever you are. You have to figure that out first. That's important, like who are you? what are the things that are important to you? And how do you represent yourself? And then once you figure that out. Just do it like don't. And maybe it is part of why people are underrepresented is because in like across like whatever it is, you know, is because they don't see themselves in that place. I don't see myself as, you know, an office executive. I don't see myself as whatever, because there are like people for them to look. To, you know, like there are there aren't models for them to see. Right. But if you put yourself in that place, I'm like, I'm going to do this thing. I'm going to do this thing that other people will see you. And then they will be like, oh, here I can do it, too.

What Is For Me Is For Me

KIRU speaks with stylist Raven Roberts. Although it seems like Raven is a person who was made to work in the world of fashion, she claims that styling in particular is something she fell into. Raven talks about her last job before she was able to make styling and fashion her career. She cites treating your passion as a full-time job (on top of your paying full-time job) as the key to making that transition possible. Raven describes periods in her life when she was fortunate enough to be working three jobs in three cities in one week. While this period was exciting and inspiring, Raven acknowledges this type of energy is impossible to sustain. Having a healthy work-life balance is important to Raven, who claims her role models are people who are able to continue to be passionate but also to live a life in tandem with their work. Above all, Raven says the greatest realization she’s had in the last eight years is that she must prioritize her well-being and sense of peace because ‘no check is worth that’.