Whether of triumph or tragedy, we all have a story to tell. Mine begins with the darkness of drug addiction and the death of a close friend, and it persists with the light of strength built, lessons learned, and a way to pay it forward. I believe in the power of stories and the sharing of lived experiences as tools for connectivity and community building. Once unleashed, I believe that power can change the world for the better. It might seem unusual that I’m willing to share the darkest parts of my life with strangers. But I’ve seen what happens when people begin to feel safe enough to reflect on their own stories. Once you recognize the transformative power of reflecting on your own grit, mistakes, darkness, and light -- you build an inner strength that no one can take away from you. As a spoken word artist, educator, motivational speaker—and over a decade of work in youth spaces—I’ve seen these transformations firsthand. My acceptance and examination of my intersections combined with both my craft in theater and spoken word performing, as well as more than 10 years of creating an intergenerational dialogue between youths and adults, has contributed to my success in classrooms, boardrooms, and living rooms. I am excited to continue driving both youth and adults towards self-forgiveness, redemption, and the irreplaceable role of love in the human revolution.