Hay girl hay!
I realized, I almost forgot about you. Can you believe that? I mean, to be honest, year 20 was such an awkward year. It’s as if like an old textbook, I just got through that year and placed it on a shelf to collect dust. But, recently I discovered that there is so much I understand better about year 20 that I wish I was able to tell you when you needed it the most. I can’t go back in time, but I can write you this letter to tell you what I was never able to.
I wish I was able to tell you to pause. Take a second and breathe Sukari. Think about everything you are doing. Other 20 year olds aren’t casually spending free time between Syracuse and Brooklyn to help Black kids get involved in engineering. They aren’t managing corporate partners and an executive board. They aren’t doing a lot of what you are doing to be equipped to change this country. In 6 years people will use the names “Michelle Obama” and “Oprah” to describe how you make them feel. Son, that’s crazy! I mean, but let’s be honest, deep down inside you already know that.
I wish I was able to tell you that your GPA isn’t going to dictate the life you lead. You are letting 3 digits break you. You already transcended the bondage of the zip code ceiling that says you will only go but so far based off of 5 digits. What the heck makes you think 3 digits can hold you back from who God has called you to be? Chuh! The nerve! You overcame the 5 digit barrier, what’s a 3 to a 5?
I wish I was able to tell you that your value is not a function of someone else’s expectations. You are a Queen who has her own expectations for herself. I think back to that night in HS when you were researching the field of engineering you wanted to pursue. There it was – Civil Engineering – the perfect combination of service and STEM. Communities need buildings and communities need infrastructure. It was the option you believed best allowed you to serve.
I wish I was able to tell you that instead of designing to deliver the positive impact in the community, you are actually being designed by your experiences to deliver positive impact in the community. You haven’t realized it yet, but you have already made the ancestors proud. The blood that flows through you moves to action, advocates, anticipates. You are powerful.
I wish I was there to tell you that your best accessory is your resilience. Your magic is in how you remain true to the idea of positive social impact. Just remember to do things for yourself and because you want to do them. You are most certainly qualified to be the woman you want to be and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Peace, Love, and Brooklyn Forever,
Sukari A. Brown