Tell us a little about your not for profit. What is it about?
Born To Rise (BTR) began as a non-profit organization with objectives to feature real people sharing real stories which explore and bring awareness to topics such as vitiligo, self acceptance, acceptance of others, bullying as well as other relevant issues within the realm of rising above adversities. We hold an annual show bringing the community together to share stories of overcoming challenges in the hopes to inspire others to also rise above their own adversity.
What is the change that you would like to bring to society?
Less judgement and more acceptance. Acceptance starts from within, therefore I want to help people recognize their own worth, their own unique power.
What happened to make you want to do this? Tell us what drove you to start this.
Born To Rise stems from my own insecurities of living with vitiligo. Being constantly judged, feeling unaccepted for the way I looked made me feel alone, unworthy and unwanted - the worst feelings for anyone to feel. So I wanted to prevent others from feeling the pain that I once felt. I thought, if I felt this way, that means others dealing with their own challenges must feel this way too. If we speak out about it we can let people know that they are not alone and provide support for them to RISE above their obstacles.
Have you achieved some of your goals or has something happened in the world to make you want to work even harder?
The greatest gift I've gotten since starting this NPO is giving the platform to others to share their story, having my speakers realize how powerful they are. I'm so grateful to be able to provide people with the opportunity to be and to feel heard. That's all I wanted.
How do you think being a woman of colour has impacted your journey?
I honestly don't even think of my colour anymore. I'm so focused on achieving my goals that I don't consider anything else. I've proven to myself that I can achieve anything I put my mind to, so being, black, or black and white does not affect my goals. Being a woman with vitiligo has given me purpose. It's provided me with a platform to be heard.
Have you had a remarkable breakthrough or a win that you would like to share with our readers? We all love hearing success stories! Tell us yours!
Since being diagnosed with vitiligo, which I once thought was a curse. I've started modelling, my NPO, and public speaking. I was a speaker for WE Day in 2017, I was part of a campaign with Allure x Ultabeauty, and I most recently did a campaign with Ardene.
Since I started accepting myself, and started loving me for me, I've been provided with nothing but blessings, and challenges that help shape me into a better version of myself.