Jerijah West attended Syracuse University with hopes of becoming a lawyer. However, along his college journey he was reminded of his true purpose; dancing. Let’s find out more about his path to dancing.
Tell me about yourself.
I was born and raised in Englewood, dancing has always been a form of expressions for me. When they performed the ultra sound, they told my mother, that I will lead the children of God through dance because I was moving so much. Dancing was not something that I chose but it chose me from the womb. It was a higher power that had control of my talents.
How did you get into the dancing industry?
While my mom was a student at William Paterson University, her professor gave her tickets to Batoto Yetu performance and that’s where I had my had my aha moment. At home my mom was always teaching us about African-American history, so to see people my age dancing and embracing their culture was truly an eye opener for me.
Did you have a back up plan, if dancing didn’t work out?
No I didn’t have a back up plan, considering that my purpose was God’s choice for me, it was always a matter of how I was going to achieve it. If that’s what my purpose is, I can’t have a back up plan.
You’ve had the opportunity to travel around the world and also perform for some very well-known artists, how do you remain humble?
Honestly, traveling is a blessings, you would be surprised how many kids our age don’t have a passport and it’s not because they are closed-minded but because of the lack of financial resources. Every time I travel I find a piece of myself, the cultural exchange can never be taken for granted.
Is there an artist or dance you want to work with that you have not yet had the opportunity?
I was blessed to perform for MJ for 30th anniversary and if the opportunity comes by I would love to work with Janet Jackson. However there’s a few people who I know that I will benefit from their experience Fatima Robinson, Tanisha Scott and of course Beyonce; she puts the P in Perfection.
What can you tell someone trying to break into this industry?
Be consistent, have faith and don’t compromise your integrity. Be a sponge and identify people you want to be a mentee or mentor.
If you can write a letter to your younger self what would you tell him about pursuing his dreams?
Understand how important resilience will be in your journey. Stay committed and be YOU! Trust the process, be humble an d always give Thanks.
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Dr.Samone desire to help others started at a young age so it was only right that she would find herself in the field of psychology. Helping her clients find the balance, harmony and beauty in their lives is the biggest gift she feels she could give the world. Let’s find out more about Dr.Samone journey to psychology.
1. What led you to a career in psychology?
When I was younger I wanted to be a Veterinarian; I always loved helping animals. I would feed them, take care of them and host funeral services for them with my friends. However, what brought me to the field of psychology was much more than curiosity, but it was also part of a revelation on the day that I decided that I wanted to take my life away.
I was puzzled that these thoughts came to mind and wanted to find out more about how the brain works and find out on how we think affects us.
2. As the human, we are born with capabilities to achieve things beyond our imaginations, how do we put our best foot forward to reach them?
Get out of the mindset that if you take the same road as this person you will be famous, or if you get this designer bag you will feel right. This is your life when you let people navigate it becomes theirs and not yours. To put your best foot forward, you have to put YOU first. Remember and envision what you want out of life.Once you’re able to achieve your small goals, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back because you are your biggest cheerleader. Whenever you get up, and your eyes are open it is another opportunity to be the best version of yourself that’s only you could achieve your goals.
3. What is Symmetrical Self?
When something is symmetrical, it is similar on both sides. Since I wanted to work with people I wanted them to know that to be beautiful on the outside, you have to feel beautiful on the inside. Symmetry is beautiful, it is balance it is also harmonious, and that’s why I wanted to focus my work around that.
4. In the black community there seems to be a stigma attached to depression, how can we put an end to it?
Masking depression as being upset or being weak isn’t going to solve the issue. We need to stop taking it lightly and seek professional help. We have dealt with so many difficult times in the past that when we encounter depression, we take it lightly like it’s another hurdle like its part of life plans. Depression doesn’t make you weak, in fact saying that you have a problem doesn’t make you weak, but it makes you strong because you realize you need help. However to put an end into the stigma we have to educate ourselves about it.
5. How can we detect someone who is depressed?
Here’s a list that can help you detect it:
• Loss of interest in activities that they once loved.
• Their expressions changed
• Trouble falling asleep/ insomnia
• Change in eating/ too much/ less eating
• Irritated, not enthusiastic
• No Confidence in themselves
• Suicidal/ Isolation
6. As young professional, we tend to fall into societies ideal of success, which sometimes can be overwhelming and can take a toll on our health. How do we stand in our truth?
What you need to realize is the YOU concept; when you let people put ideas into your psyche and tell you what the markup of a successful person is because they can buy a designer shoe or dress, you are letting them take control of your mind. Those things are transparent, and they don’t provide value to who you are. You are put for a reason find out what it is and stop putting your spirit into material things. Because once you can’t afford to buy the Gucci bag your spirit is gone and you work yourself out for that. Find out your truth and see watch where it will take you.
7. What advice would you give to an aspiring psychologist?
Don’t let others tell you it’s a nothing career because a lot of people said that I was wasting my time, but I didn’t let that stopped me because I knew I was destined to be a psychologist. Also get ready to study hard because some of those subjects are not for the faint.
8. Imagine you are writing a letter to your younger self; what would you say to her?
You are smart, caring and you have a gift to make others feel they are worth it and that they are somebody. Don’t let people continue to change you, embrace the hard times because they will mold you.You will turn out to be a blessing just like God wanted to be all along.