From an early age, I wanted to be amongst the most innovative artists in New York City. Originally, I was determined to be a Broadway musical theatre performer. But the more I invested in young people and communities, the more I saw my career goals shift.
My first teaching job was facilitating a wellness program serving low-income students in public schools. We discussed a different theme around health and empowerment each week. One lesson was titled "Self-Love." We asked students, "What are some things you can do to show yourself love?" A young girl who had struggled throughout the semester with speaking up confidently raised her hand. She beamed as she answered, "I'm gonna look at myself in the mirror and say 'Dang! I look good!'"
I left the session buzzing with joy. I knew I wanted to teach young people for the rest of my life.