As a cosmetology student, I was introduced to a work ethic I didn’t know I possessed. During my senior year, I was afforded a prestigious internship, however, I was determined to finish what I started, my cosmetology program. Along the way, there were few people who tried to discourage me from trying to do both cosmetology and the internship. Not allowing the naysayers to dictate my future, I decided to take on the challenge. I attended school in the morning, my internship in the afternoon, and prepared for my cosmetology state board exam after completing homework in the evenings.
At some point in your life, you were probably asked “so tell me about yourself?”
I’ve been asked this question countless times. If I could answer without trying to appease an audience, it would go a little something like this….
Though I am the middle child, I will admit I was the spoiled one. Yes, I had my tendencies, but I was also very self-motivated and always had an end goal in sight. Growing up in Baltimore County, Maryland, I had the opportunity to get to know individuals from many walks of life. From Christian school to public school to charter school to magnet school, I’ve had a diverse educational experience. Along the way, I was introduced to STEM by my parents. With each of them being in the I.T. field, STEM was always on my radar. While I’ve always wanted to become a physician, my interest in medicine peaked when I began taking rigorous science courses in high school. I’ve always been interested in dissections as well as the complexity of the human body. I chose the cosmetology magnet in high school because I felt it would benefit me throughout my many years in school. I believe the program also played a part in my interest in science since we dove deep into the anatomy and physiology of the human body.
This fueled my drive to accomplish each of the goals I set for myself. I went on to become the first licensed cosmetologist in my cohort. This moment meant a lot to me because it showed me when you really want something, go for it, and don't let the fear of failure set you back. With all that I juggled, I still managed to be very involved in school activities such as sports, various honors societies, and clubs. Needless to say, I’ve always led a very busy life. Being on the go and still excelling in academia was fostered in me throughout my busy high school career.
Only knowing my name and where I am from, many people have a preconceived notion of me before I even introduce myself. It is no secret that Baltimore has a negative stigma attached. I’ve always wanted to change the narrative for my community and show others that there is more to Baltimore than what is portrayed in the media. Media portrayal has always had an impact on the black community. Personally, it opened my eyes to the disproportionality within the medical field. Black female physicians make up only 2% of the medical field. As a black woman, I want to bring a new perspective to the table. Not only do I want to join these women in the field, but I also want to encourage others like me to do the same.
Now that you have a little insight, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Jordan, and I am more than the stigmas or stereotypes with which I am faced. I am B.R.O.W.N. and you can be too.