As a kid growing up in the Beacon Hill community of Chicago Heights, wanting to be the President of the United States was never a dream I had for obvious reasons. However, after the 2008 election, heard and seen around the world, millions of young Black children including my son are dreaming that they too, could be the Leader of the Free World.
As I reflect on what I wanted to be growing up, I honestly can not recall what it was I wanted to be until my teenage years. I do vividly remember attending headstart at Happy Hour, located on Eastside for several years because I was a January baby...please don’t get me started on that. After that my mother moved onto 26th street, in the Hill community where I graduated from Kindergarten at Garfield Elementary School. I still have ties to Garfield because one of my teacher’s is still there, Mrs. Maria Luisa Alvardo.
My journey through life has had its fair share of ups and downs. Yet because of the encouragement of several women now looking down from Heaven above (stepmother-Martha Brookins ’95, mother-Terri Terry ‘01, grandmother-Bernice Brookins ’09, grandmother-June Mosby ’10, eldest aunt-Marsha Robinson ’12) their voices continue to give me the solidarity and strength to keep on, keeping on. It was a tremendous honor and privilege to meet President Barack Obama and I hope that more Chicago Heights residents will also be afforded the opportunity.