Ethnicity: I am a black woman who was born and raised in Virginia. I grew up in the suburbs and I was maybe one of 5 other black children in my elementary school. No one ever made me feel like I was any different until a kid who was picking on me called me the “n word” one day. That was the day that I truly felt like I was different from everyone and I would constantly ask my mother why I was the way that I was. I began to hate the color of my skin and I tried to act and dress like all of the other kids; I straightened my hair when it was naturally curly and even went as far as to wear makeup that made me look lighter than I actually was. It wasn’t until I was visiting my family in Oklahoma that I began to see how beautiful black women really are. My family was just so confident in their bodies and were constantly telling me that I should be proud of the person that I am. Black people have been through many trials and tribulations yet they somehow found a way to rise above their struggles and fight for what was right; I never truly understood that I should be proud of my people and the color of my skin until that day. Years have passed since then and I am a completely different person than I used to be. I can proudly say that I am an African American woman who is proud to wear her hair naturally and express myself to others. I one day want to set an example for those who may not feel confident in their skin. I understand how it feels to not be confident, but I am living proof that it is possible to overcome any obstacle in life or in the mind.

About You: I am currently My Gym teacher as well as an after school drama teacher with Drama Kids International and I spend the rest of my free time auditioning for productions. I have been in productions of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Aida”, and I just recently returned from New Hampshire for a production of “Hairspray”. A long term goal of mine is to own a theater that offers classes involving directing, technical theatre, musical theatre, and many other classes for children and teens. Theatre and the arts have changed my life completely and I want to be that person that lights a fire in the youth to want to pursue the field despite what many people may say about it as a career; I am a very stubborn person and my own happiness comes first in my life regardless of the situation.

Your Thoughts on Diversity: Because I was brought up in an area where diversity was encouraged, I have always admired diversity in people everywhere I go. As I grew older and started to explore what the world had to offer, I was shocked to discover that some people are not accepting of those who may appear to be different. History truly does repeat itself and it is sad to see similar events occur from many years ago reappear in a similar fashion on news networks today. Every person on this earth is unique in some way, shape, or form; I believe that in dark times it is vital to celebrate the differences in each other and come together rather than tear each other apart. America is supposed to be based on people and their differences coming together to chase after their dreams yet it has somehow lost that mentality along the way. It is a project like this one that may hopefully allow people to remember what this country is supposed to be all about.

Diversity is Beauty