I struggled for a couple years trying to find "my place" at Carnegie Mellon. SPIRIT and NSBE became the stepping stone towards thriving. Great challenges bring the biggest growth. This institution pushed me past every limit I thought I had, but that's the amazing part. See, more than anyone else, I know that you can't reach for the stars if you don't know they exist. It takes generations to build wealth in our communities for this very reason.
We are capped at the methods of success we see surrounding us. Whether that be a rapper or a pro athlete. A doctor, a lawyer, or maybe an engineer. Or the path I eventually found for myself, a business owner. Dreams like this can only be achieved by being thrown far away from known comfort and trust me it wasn't an easy path but it was definitely worthwhile. I had the privilege of being in leadership positions from freshman year with NSBE, and by my senior year I was
nationally recognized for my efforts as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar. I discovered entrepreneurship (something I never thought possible for a woman of color) at the Swartz Center and this truly changed my perspective forever. No longer was the only path I saw working for someone else. I discovered the beauty and very real possibility of instead working for myself. I know for many other black girls this was not a path thought possible, so when you ask what I think I leave behind it's that. I may not change the entire world, but I will change the world that young women of color like myself see when they grow up. I will change their worlds.
Featured Social Media Activists:
Dr. Kevin Jarbo's Recommendations
@michaelharriot - writer for The Root @BreeNewsome - Bree Newsome, artist and activist @DrIbram - Ibram X. Kendi (Boston Univ), author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist @KeeangaYamahtta - Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor (Princeton), scholar, author, and activist
Join the Center in completing Kertesha Riley's Racial Justice Challenge for the month of June. Follow us on @LifeAtCMU and tag #CMURacialJusticeChallenge to join the challenge.
Thank you to @whoiskriley for allowing us to use your creation.