Voices of Positive Change: “You can’t be what you can’t see” – Marian Wright Edelman
Zahara's Dream Interview with Cheryl Isaac, United States of America
1. How do you start your day to achieve the objectives you have set for yourself?
I start my day by reading a few pages of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. I also often listen to a motivational podcast or video. Lately, I've added the treadmill to the start of my day and it not only helps with physical and mental energy, but it's also fun because with the iFit app, I work out in my basement while also traveling the world and visiting various landscapes remotely with iFit trainers.
2. What is the best career advice you were given?
I was told by a mentor years ago to leave a job or position better than it was when I came in and the moment I didn't feel as if I was given the opportunity to be the best I could be, to bide my time and move on to something better.
3. What does Empowerment mean to you?
When I am empowered, I am confident enough to be a unicorn in business and social spaces. Empowerment is the ability to grow and learn, to have a voice that is clearly mine; empowerment is when I have the right tools available to me that enable me to become a better version of myself so that I feel emotionally, financially and mentally independent.
4. What does Opportunity mean to you? / what does equal opportunity for women look like to you?
Opportunity is a nudge in the right direction, encouragement or mentorship from a seasoned person. Sometimes opportunity is a position that could further my career and enhance my ability to serve my community and the world. As a black woman, equal opportunity means being treated as a leader: having input in conversations that matter, being in the room when important decisions are made.
5. What would be a piece of advice for young women overcoming social and economic adversity?
Never give up, never stop dreaming and always fight for what you want, even when things seem hopeless. Adversity is what will shape your character so when you're faced with an economic challenge and people turn their back on you, fight through it, shape yourself and work towards your dream. Find your 'curve': your curve is that gut instinct, it's how you 'zig' when everyone else 'zags.' Your curve will remain with you through all the difficult phases in your life.
6. How can mentoring benefit young women and girls?
I enjoy the versatility of mentorship, how it adapts unique shapes and forms. A mentor could be a friend or supporter within an organization or field; a mentor could be a neighbor or teacher. For young women and girls, mentorship is a vital tool for providing perspective. Having a mentor from various social and economic backgrounds can open a new world for young women. An enlightened view of the world prepares a young woman to sit comfortably in many different spaces and helps her become a leader who knows how to express her thoughts confidently and who also cherishes diverse thoughts and ideas.