I was born and raised in Detroit’s Northwest side in a neighborhood that was relatively quiet and friendly yet conversely no stranger to violence and tragedy. I lost my first love and childhood best friend to gun violence and was never allowed to venture much further than my own backyard. My single mom worked hard to keep food on table and protect me from much of the “ugly” that surrounded us. We didn’t have much, but I had everything that I needed and was always encouraged to follow my dreams.
I came from a family of artists, so my creativity was never stifled. That combined over-protectiveness and creative freedom led to many indoor adventures–I did everything from having my own AOL keyword and illustrating for major companies to publishing a multicultural women’s magazine and founding a student organization/documentary in high school. Socially I was an introverted mess, but internally I’ve always had this drive and sense that I could accomplish anything. I owe that to my mom and from years of watching PBS.