“It’s very family oriented and you see a lot of love shown down here. What makes it home to me? I can walk down the street and know somebody. I can walk around the corner and somebody would be ready to help me with anything. It’s lots of help and love but at the same time, there’s a lot of lost souls.
We need more love for the youth because we’re the future. We need more people to set examples and give us guidance. You see liquor stores on every corner. Where are the bookstores? I wanna see stuff that’ll help us and allow us to come together. I would like to see a difference. I wanna see unity, love, support, and happiness. I’m tired of seeing gun violence and drugs. We need more black-owned businesses and fewer liquor stores! The kids need a place to go to after school and adults need places where they can just hang out. We just don’t have anything like that.
My biggest influence is my mother. As a single parent of three, she did an awesome job with us. She instilled wisdom and knowledge by showing me that you always need to know where you’re going and where you come from. She taught me that I can’t stay in one place too long - I have to keep going. My mother keeps me going. We just went to go look at colleges and I’m feeling good about that. I was lost at first but after visiting colleges, I’m feeling really good about myself. I know what I want to do.
I plan on going to Sullivan. They have a lot of stuff for me. I want to own my own business, so I’m going to be taking up marketing and business management. I want to own a hair salon. I feel that Sullivan will help me with my career. They are directing people to make their own paths. I learned about the guy that owns Super Chefs. He went to Sullivan and graduated from there. I learned that he didn’t have any money and was homeless. I found that it was amazing that he took a chance on himself and created a successful business. That’s role model goals!
I sometimes battle depression but there are people around me who help and show me that there are better ways to go about things and that I don’t always have to be down. I put God first, too. Like, when I’m not in the best of moods, I got my mom and family that help me. Even when I’m in the West End and I’m walking down the street, there’s always somebody saying, “Smile, young lady!” At the end of the day, life is something to be happy about. Every day that you wake up is a blessing. There’s a purpose for everyone’s life. In order to fulfill your purpose, you have to live.” - Shania, Russell