Black women · millennials · Self- Love

A series: Young Women of Flint creating and shaping their own success stories 

Introducing Ms. Serenity Stevens. A beautiful, Inspiring, graduate of Michigan State university. As a young successful Black woman in her own right, Serenity has a lot of encouraging words for other young woman on their journey to success. With that being said here is our interview: 

What was it like growing up in the city of Flint for you and what does being from Flint mean to you? 

Serenity : “I had a pretty good childhood. As a kid I always played and explored outside, it was just so different then. Now a days you don’t really see kids playing that much outside, their more into technology. Being from Flint means we’re hard workers and that we can overcome anything that comes our way. I’m proud to be from Flint.”

What are your thoughts about everything happening within our city as of now ? 

Serenity: “It’s sad that it came to this, getting national attention. I wish that there was already a solution, because with the water you never really know how it will affect the children’s future. ”

As a young Black woman in America, what are some adversities you find yourself facing, or what are some of the things that your find yourself overcoming ? 

Serenity: “Being a woman period, and a minority.. being Black and a woman, I feel as if we have to work twice as hard as anyone else. We’re not really looked at as equal. Something I find myself overcoming is just working, it’s a challenge being a Black woman in the work field, especially being my age, it’s extremely hard, at times I’m not really taken seriously. For example, when I started my job two ladies were joking around saying things like “aren’t you to young to be working here”? And I was kinda offended. Like why would I be? I just graduated college.” 

( Serenity is going into public health, but is currently going back to school to receive a second bachelors degree in nursing.)

-What does it mean for you to be a Black woman ? 

Serenity: “It means everything to me. People might look at us a certain way, but  Black women are so positive and powerful, we overcome everything. I just love being a Black woman! The way media portrays Black women, I just hate it, because it doesn’t represent all of us “. 

Who are some woman that you look up to , that helped in shaping you into the young woman you are today? 

Serenity: “My mom. I got my work ethic from her, I’ve been working since I was 14 years old. As a kid I always saw her working 1 or 2 jobs . She instilled that hard work ethic in me. She was always so positive, I never really saw her down. I didn’t even know we were broke until I got older, I was always that kid that had everything. I never really understood all of the things that she went through, until I got older. She persevered, she instilled in me to always work hard and that I could overcome anything.”

What’s your idea of success? 

Serenity: “Working hard., nothing is given to us, especially as Black woman.”

What’s your idea of purpose? 

Serenity: “Its weird, because I’m just now realizing what my purpose is. I feel that it is to help the younger generation. Making sure that they don’t go through what I’ve been through. As far as college,etc.  If I could help at least one person, then I feel as if I have fulfilled my purpose.” 

 -How does it feel for you knowing that you are creating your own success story, breaking stigmas and or stereotypes ? 

Serenity:  “It feels good, but at the same time overwhelming. Being one of the first to go away, being the first to graduate, and knowing everyone in the family is watching, “like what are you going to do next”? It’s just a good feeling to know that I am encouraging someone else.”

How important is it as a young Black woman, or woman in general do you feel to have self -love and or confidence ? 

Serenity: “Extremely important. We have to love ourselves, it’s our first love. If we love ourselves then we can do anything. Having confidence goes along with having self love, if your confident no matter what anyone says about you, you just brush it off. ”

What is something that you love about your journey so far, would you change anything if you could? 

Serenity: “So far graduating. I learned so much about myself in college, that’s why I encourage everyone to go to school you really learn who you are.  

I wouldn’t change anything because it wouldn’t make me who I am. My journey is my journey. 

Since you’ve received your degree? What’s some advice you would give someone like me still aiming to receive theirs ? How did you keep pushing and moving forward? 

Serenity: ” I would say to stay focused , it’s so easy to get off track. Surround yourself with positive people who have the same goals as you. As long as you stay focused, and keep God first, you will be fine. “

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 ?

Serenity: “Just be great. Don’t listen to what other people have to say, stay focused, don’t be a product of your environment. Just stay positive, make sure you have a good support system, try finding a mentor or somebody who can help you along the way”

A representation of a resilent, powerful yet humble Black woman. 

Thank you to Ms. Serenity Stevens for sharing words of encouragement for other young women on their journey to success.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down it’s the way you carry it” ~ Lena Horne

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