College: LaGuardia Community College
Walter Elliot once said, “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” This quote epitomizes my life’s experiences and makes me appreciate all the short races thus far. Until I turned six, I was raised by my late grandmother in rural South Africa. When I turned seven, my parents enrolled my brother and me in boarding school miles away from home. Attending the school, which had catered exclusively to children of Afrikaans descent during apartheid, was a life-changing experience. Even though the school now opened its doors to people of color, there was still a strong sense of social isolation between the two races. I clearly recall that we had to attend separate churches based on our skin color. That made a real impression on me, and I became open-minded, developing a deep fascination with other races and cultures.
Transitions have always played a vital role in my upbringing; I learned from a young age that circumstances do not define me. Rather, I should redefine them, giving them a more positive meaning. After boarding school, the next transition was that my father and grandmother both passed away, leaving my mother a single parent raising three children. My mother exemplified resilience and strong womanhood, and she instilled in me the value of education, the ability to embrace change, and the beauty of independence. Her influence has shaped me and has contributed to my growth as a person, woman and scholar. I immigrated to the United States in 2006 with a promise to my family and myself that not only will I pursue higher education, but also that I will make something phenomenal of my life. My career goals are twofold: I want to establish myself in both business and law. Upon completion of my Bachelors of Arts, my goal is to attend graduate school to attain either a Masters of Business Administration or a Juris Doctorate. I want to better my understanding of the socio-economic standing of developing countries, and the roles that these countries play in addressing challenges in healthcare, education and trade. I aspire to give back to my native homeland by involving myself with nonprofit organizations that provide resources to underprivileged children in Africa, especially those deeply affected by HIV and AIDS.
New York Needs You offers more than just a platform to attain my professional goals. I am amongst like-minded fellows whose blunt refusals to submit to adversity inspire and motivate me. The workshops grant me the opportunities to meet people and role models from multiple career backgrounds, and this has broadened my outlook and has inspired me to explore my capabilities and career options. With NYNY’s help, I plan to work towards my highest ambitions with determination, one day and one step at a time.