Introducing Ms. Leah McGee, a 20 year old beautiful, and determined young woman from the city of Flint, whom will be attending the Univeristy of North Texas this fall, majoring in journalism. She is the first woman of the series: Here is our interview..
– What was is like growing up in the city of Flint for you and what does being from Flint mean to you ?
Leah: “Growing up in Flint, felt pretty normal to me. I knew that it was different from other places, but I was pretty sheltered growing up so I didn’t really get to experience the real bad things going on in Flint, I just heard stories. Being from Flint means a lot to me, I take pride in it. I do believe if you can make it out of Flint you can make it anywhere.”
–What are your thoughts about everything happening within our city as of now?
Leah: “My thoughts on what’s going on with Flint right now, aren’t good ones. I moved to Arizona right before the water crisis received national attention. The water was bad way before then and still is. They say it’s drinkable, but anything that makes my skin feel like sandpaper and makes It peel for no reason, I wouldn’t dare think to consume. I’m home for the summer, and the water has broken my skin out badly. So it’s very saddening to know what it’s doing to the people that are actually here all year round. It’s very inhuman”.
–As a young Black woman in America, what are some adversities you find yourself facing, or what are some of the things that you find yourself overcoming?
Leah: “As a black woman I believe I’ll find myself overcoming the hate, lies, evil words, and doubters. They only want to see you doing good if you’re not doing better than them , also as a young black woman I feel like some would say I’m at a disadvantage because I am a woman then to top it off I’m black, but I believe being a black woman makes me very powerful. Like I can’t be stopped. Looking at some of the black women in the past and present makes me realize black women were built to last. Always can turn a little of nothing into something. Then to be also blessed with grace, strength, and courage is very awesome.”
– Who are some women that you look up to, that helped in shaping you into the young woman you are today ?
Leah: “Some of the women that I look up to and helped shape me into the woman I am today would be my mother, grandmothers, Aunt Mel, Oprah, and Princess Diana.”
– What’s your idea of success ?
Leah: “My idea of success would be me never giving up on something I really have a passion for, staying committed even when I want to quit, being able to have a family and take care of them comfortably, looking over my life not having those, “I wish I would’ve did that instead of letting fear hold me back” moments and helping as many people I can”.
– What’s your idea of purpose?
Leah: “My idea of purpose is, I believe every single person on this Earth was given a purpose designed perfectly for them. It can be big or small, but there’s a purpose.”
– How does it feel for you knowing that you are creating your own success story, breaking stigmas and or stereotypes?
Leah: “It feels great knowing I’m creating my own success story, breaking stigmas and stereotypes, because I love doing things people said I’d never do. All my life I’ve always had someone negatively talking against me, and all I’ve ever done was prove them wrong. It’s a very good feeling to know that I have the power to create a life based off how hard I’m willing to work. It’s really a gift.”
–How important is it as a young Black woman , or woman in general is it to have self- love and or confidence?
Leah: “As a black woman it is highly crucial that you establish self love for yourself and embrace everything God has given you. As a black woman everything about you is unique from your color, lips, eyes, body type, and hair most importantly. People are going to find it very easy to question and nitpick everything about you. If you don’t have that self love, you’ll let people tear your self esteem down fast. As a woman period you’re going to have self love and confidence in yourself because people believe we live in a man’s world and that’s not true. You have to be able to stand your ground and know you’re just as qualified as any man is.”
– What is something that you love about your journey so far, would you change anything if you could ?
Leah: “What I love about my journey so far is that I’m still here trying to be something great. I’ve had so many hardships growing up and I never gave up. I found out that I had zero love or confidence for/in myself, now I’m on adding to my path, figuring out how to love myself. If I could change anything I would go back and tell myself that I am enough, and I can do anything I put my mind to. Self doubt and lack of love for myself held me back, I could’ve did more sooner if I only believed in myself. ”
– If you could give a word of advice or encouragement to a little girl growing up in the city of Flint, what would you tell her?
Leah: ” If I could give advice to a little girl growing up in Flint it would be, please don’t get distracted. Being in Flint can get hard, but long as you remain focused, love yourself and never lose sight of the bigger picture you’ve created for yourself, you’ll be just fine. You have to stay committed and conscious. Know that every decision you make today can and will effect you tomorrow or a lifetime. You have a purpose and you are great. Don’t ever think you’re not good enough. Never let the words break you or your joy. Lastly get help with anything you need help with, never walk around like everything’s okay if it isn’t.”
Thanks to Ms. Leah McGee, for her effortlessly empowering words.