Me on the left, with my dad and my older brother.
I have been fighting right from birth.
My family was living in Houston, Texas, when my mum was hit by a drunk driver on Christmas Day, 1982. She ended up in a coma and gave birth to me prematurely. I started life fighting in an incubator for 6 months -- after that, my dad had to take me and my other brother to Nigeria because he couldn't afford childcare in the US.
In Nigeria, I started college at the age of 15. While in college, I started community work and advocacy. I represented Nigeria at various youth forums such as the EDC Youth Employment Summit and TakingITGlobal, where I worked to create sustainable economic opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged youths.
Me (in the middle with the blue jeans) and my siblings and cousins posing for a picture together in Lagos, Nigeria.
After college, I worked in finance helping small businesses, middle- and low-income people with financial resources and solutions. Around 2008, I came back home to Houston, Texas, where I became a HUD-certified financial counselor working with the Obama Housing Affordability Program. This was an exciting opportunity helping homeowners keep their homes and keeping it affordable.
In 2010, I came out about my sexuality to my family. I was pushed out, and it led to me going into depression. I moved to Chicago in 2011 with a job offer hoping for an opportunity to have a new beginning. However, a couple of days before starting, I became a victim of the great recession and the company went under.
I was in an unfamiliar city, and I ended up unhoused. If things could not get any worse, I fell ill and became hospitalized, where I was diagnosed with AIDS.
Getting the social, health, economic, and mental services I needed was not easy. I had to challenge the status quo of ideologies and policies that were in place. I fought for my survival and brought about changes so that nobody has to go through what I went through ever again. I was able to pull through thanks to the help of healthcare workers, transit workers, and the public library.
Thankfully, a Good Samaritan offered me a place and created an avenue for me to come out of that experience. I got a job as a flight attendant, and that has been my job since.
When I moved to Seattle, I lived in the 37th district, from day 1. This is my home where I live and breathe. Most especially, it is where I have been doing my community work.
I have done advocacy projects and worked on policy on both a global and local scale. I believe that we can think globally and implement locally.