1. Why did you decide to join Usher’s New Look? What are your career goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
I chose to join UNL to be involved with other individuals like myself. I used to believe I was “weird”, but after joining UNL I viewed my skills and hobbies in a more positive light. My current career goal is to become a Public Relations professional in the entertainment field. I just graduated from Grand Valley State University with my bachelor’s degree. I will eventually get my PhD, but my PhD of choice is still to be determined.
2. What have you learned so far or what specific experiences have you gained from being in Usher’s New Look Mogul in Training?
I’ve learned how to appreciate my talents and abilities better. While I do believe that anyone can do anything with enough practice, I learned that some of my skills are more natural. Also, I traveled to Japan as part of a student exchange program between my university (GVSU) and International Christian University in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. I chose East Asia, because I grew up with a strong influence from East Asian movies. During middle school, I started reading manga, specifically Naruto. Unlike most tweens at that time, I branched off into a category of manga called Slice of Life. While it wasn’t a full depiction of Japanese society, the consistent values I came across in all of the different manga I read appealed to me. From there I decided to go to Japan. Around 12th grade, I joined UNL. I had previously given up my dream of going overseas, but after meeting international students at UNL, I decided that I would also be an ambassador of some sorts for my country, and my school. It took some time, but after studying Japanese for 4 years, I was finally confident enough to study abroad. I went overseas, and lived for an entire year an exchange student.
3. What are some of the trials you have faced when trying to achieve your goals? How has Usher’s New Look helped you find solutions to get through those obstacles?
Being an academic is never easy. There are times when I wanted to drop out of school due to stress. Alongside the major support I receive at Grand Valley State University, seeing the other MIT’s excel urged me to keep trying. I want to be able to excel with my associates and friends, and I can’t do that by giving up.
4. What have been your greatest achievements in 2016-2017? How has the program impacted or benefited these accomplishments?
My greatest achievements are my improvement in my music. I’ve recently learned a lot more about how to produce my own music, as well as create my own sound that is catchy, and thoughtful.
I didn’t explore music production and recording until I joined UNL. I recorded songs, but I never tried new things.
5. What advice, skills, or help would you give younger Usher’s New Look students?
Don’t be afraid to open and explore new things. The world is full of interesting things and people, so take advantage of it.
6. What life lessons have you learned from Usher’s New Look?
You can do it. Just keep trying.
7. What more would you like to do with the program in the future?
I like would like to do a collaborative project that speaks a powerful message to people.
8. Give a quote from your biggest inspiration.
“Just Keep Swimming” – Dory, Finding Nemo
9. What is your greatest New Look memory?
Being able to meet and reach thousands of people in ATL during one of the youth leadership conferences.
10. Why do you feel that Usher’s New Look program is so important for society today?
UNL teaches youth to love themselves, and give back to society, while still being them. UNL teaches youth and people to be a productive part of society, while still being individual.