This September, I start my senior year at Montclair State University. Because I am so close to the end of my college career, I have a lot of friends who have already crossed the finish line and are now in their careers. I decided to speak with them and ask them to share with the world what it’s like to be a young, black professional.
It is not an easy road to walk. I asked them eight questions to help get an idea of what their careers are like and how they got where they are.
For my second interview, I picked an amazing candidate. John-wick Nathan is a young, black mental health professional and business owner. At 24 Nathan is the youngest person in the state of Arizona to own a mental health and substance abuse care facility. He is a Haitian immigrant, raised in NY.
He wanted to be featured to inspire the next generation of scholars to never let a closed door stop you from reaching your dreams.
Did you always know you wanted to be a Behavioral Health Professional?
Not at all, I wanted to be a musician/ audio engineer.
Did you ever consider giving up on your dream?
Yes, multiple times.
What does it mean to you to be a young black Behavioral Health Professional?
It feels very good, I’m the youngest person everywhere I go. It makes me feel accomplished doing what I want at an early age rather than older.
How does it make you feel that there are not many people that look like you in your field?
It drives me to grind and work even harder. I have been referred to “You People” before, worst mistake that person made. Not only will I work and build my empire, but they will work for me one day.
Who has been your biggest mentor and why?
Oh my, that right there is a tough question to answer. I guess I will just go down the list. Elena Mosely, because she got me off the streets and put me into performing arts, she gave me my first job, taught me to run an office which I do now. Well, run a company, so I credit her.
Dr. Michael Igwe, because everything business I learned from him. Dr. Michael taught me that if the numbers make sense so will your business.
Wildine Burgess, because she’s one of my mothers, lol. She groomed me spiritually, prayed for me, taught me to be patient and beat sense into me, and now I have to buy her a house.
Is there a “typical” day for you? If so, what is it like?
My typical day consists of me waking up at 5:30. I immediately turn on a motivational video that does not stop playing for about two hours, sometimes longer. I take my dogs for a walk and to the park sit for 45 minutes, bring them home, make breakfast, take a shower and get dressed to start my day.
By 8:30 am – 9 am I show up to my business to check on my residents, have a team meeting, daily expectations and perform my daily activities which may consist of a number things. Depending on the workload, I may spend a few hours at work or eight hours. I end my evening often on my laptop, working on new ideas to grow my business, going over investment opportunities, and attempting to watch T.V, but I never pay attention.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Acknowledge your current situation, discover your desired situation, and then fill in the “GAP” (what you need to do to get to your desired situation).
What is one thing you would suggest current college students do to help them achieve their dream?
Do what you love for the love of God. There is no greater feeling than doing something you love and getting paid for it. When you do that, you do not worry about the money, money no longer has control over your work ethic.
The last thing, “Think it, Expect it, Do it” don’t just talk about your goals.
I was absolutely floored by John-wick. He was a breath a fresh air in my inbox. He emailed to ask to be a part of this column and his passion for what he did came through immediately. Looking at his facility’s website, Harbor, and seeing how he made spaces for people that look like him to do what they love, I became obsessed.
I could not have asked for better answers to my questions. Him explaining that being called “you people” in some circles is exactly why I wanted to start this column to show that “us people” are amazing and winning in all areas.
If you would like to be featured in Young, Black, and Professional, please contact me on Twitter.
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