Join us on Mondays as we celebrate the incredible college students who make up our Moguls in Training program. This week, meet Brenda Khor, a Mogul in Training from Atlanta, GA, who is in her Senior year at the College of Wooster. To learn learn more about Brenda’s experience in the program, read her interview below or scroll to the bottom of the page to watch her video!
How did you discover Usher’s New Look?
I joined Usher’s New Look through an internship opportunity. In 2015, I was an Program Assistant summer intern with Usher’s New Look. My responsibilities were researching opportunities for students to apply what they learned from facilitations in real-world scenarios, and studying the objectives of the organization to develop public relations strategies that will expose the mission of the organization. Over just two months, I saw that this organization is just more than its mission.
I decided to join Usher’s New Look because they are more than a nonprofit that aims to prepare underserved youth to become future leaders through academic mentorship. They are family first, who care about the students’ physical, emotional, and mental health. Then, they teach them the skills in order for them to grow and use their “sparks” in a way to make meaningful change to society.
What are your career goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
I knew that this was the organization I wanted to be in. Through Usher’s New Look, I found that my sparks were broadcasting, blogging, and advocating for youth. My career goal is to be a television correspondent. As a television correspondent, I want to initiate change on how we perceive individuals, communities and the world. I want to advocate for stories pertaining to youth and explain how these national events affect us as a nation. I plan to achieve them by facilitating more Powered by Service trainings with Usher’s New Look, attending workshops and panels and looking for opportunities pertaining to my sparks.
What have you learned so far or what specific experiences have you gained from being in Usher’s New Look Mogul in Training?
From being an UNL Mogul in Training, I learned how to expand my thinking, improve on my writing and public speaking, and market my brand. For example, I remember participating in an event with the Deloitte Company, where my team and I collaborated our sparks to do good on the community. We brainstormed, planned, and designed our project proposal. Our proposal was to go around our communities and build gardens with them to grow vegetation. This would help everyone eat healthier and decrease obesity. Additionally, I am now working with another MIT, Angie Ross, to combine our passion for media and community outreach. We are planning to start a project, called #SpeakOut for UNL members to speak their opinions on social and political matters that are important to them through media. Students would be able to learn how to produce clips, from scripting to broadcasting.
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?
Enrolled at a private liberal arts school in a rural town, Wooster, Ohio, it was limited for me to find experience in broadcasting. My college provides students majoring in Communication Studies learn about the concepts of media and are able to analyze media artifacts, but do not have that many hands-on experiences for it. Usher’s New Look has helped me find solutions to those obstacles by providing me with mentors and opportunities related to the media industry. I would have phone calls with them and ask for advice and wisdom, and then whenever I come into town in Atlanta, I would be able to job shadow, and connect with other people in the field. Usher’s New Look provided me with more connections and resources than I would have had if I had not been a part of this organization.
What have been your greatest achievements this year? How has the program impacted or benefited these accomplishments?
My greatest achievements thus far are being accepted as a Teach for America corps member for Miami, turning in a 105-page research thesis project to my college and becoming a Fulbright Fellow to teach English in Spain! My research project this year was on Mexican telenovelas, how telenovela viewers in Mexico perceive economic disparity on-screen, and if it is represented in Mexican reality. UNL has benefited my accomplishments by making me see my passion for youth and media earlier. They encouraged me to use my sparks as my catalyst for everything that I do. If I use my sparks as my guide, then I will be happy no matter how hard the task.
What is your greatest New Look memory?
My greatest New Look memories are getting the opportunity to travel and train students internationally in the Dominican Republic with Ford. I also always love the “Expressions” during PBS training. Every time I see a student perform their spark, it shows me that the talent in the world are endless, and that they can do so much change in their communities. Expressions give me hope that the world can be a better place.
What life lessons have you learned from Usher’s New Look? What advice, skills, or help would you give younger Usher’s New Look students?
Being a part of Usher’s New Look, I learned to not be afraid to showcase my skills and talents; Always enter an environment with a positive attitude and to continue to actively involve myself in the community.
My advice is be hungry, be humble and be happy. Remain hungry, and always look for a new tasks to take on from your academics, your employers, and yourself. Challenge yourself to learn something new. Remain humble because it speaks about your character. Accept critical feedback as an advantage to be a better leader. Remain happy. Make sure to do activities outside of work. It is important to have some ‘me time’. Find a balance between work and personal life. If you follow these three, I believe you will be successful.
What more would you like to do with the program in the future?
In the future, I hope to facilitate more Powered by Service trainings, mentor younger members in the New Look program and be an asset to the New Look organization in how they see I can use my skills to push for the mission of Usher’s New Look.
Give a quote from your biggest inspiration.
“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” -Michelle Obama
Why do you feel that Usher’s New Look program is so important for society today?
Usher’s New Look program is important for society today because kids are the changing the face of leadership in this country. Usher’s New Look places an emphasis on the four pillars — Talent, Education, Career and Service. These four pillars are the components to success, where each individual brings something different to the table. By bringing something new to the table, they can change the world in diverse ways; improving each aspect in society. This program not only cares to create positive impact in society, but also for each family member involved within the organization. New Look is a united family with diverse personalities, skills, talents, and ideas, all with one goal — to serve, give hope, and inspire change.