In order to create awareness for Black History Month, we’ve given Kimberly the opportunity to speak to us about her upbringing, who truly inspires her and what her vision for the future looks like.
My parents migrated from Ghana to the UK with the aim of creating a better life for their children. That’s why, from a very young age, they instilled in me that I would always have to work ten times harder than my peers, just to be on the same level. This was difficult, at the age of seven, for me to comprehend at the time. However, I now know and appreciate how much my parents have sacrificed for me and my sister. Knowing this drives me to continue applying myself in anything and everything I set out to do.
From a young age my classmates could easily reel off a list of names of individuals that inspired them, and whilst their feats were incredible, it was hard for me to relate to them because their heroes didn’t look like me, and they didn’t go through the same experiences as me.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve developed an admiration for Lewis Hamilton. Since 2007, he’s been the only black driver in Formula One and was the driving force for the Black Lives Matter campaign awareness within the sport. The perseverance and determination he’s displayed is truly inspiring, and a constant reminder not to give up on a cause you believe in.
Last summer, I purchased a book called “Taking Up Space” by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi. It’s coined as the “black girl’s manifesto for change”, detailing a series of experiences at university by minority students. Now that I’ve entered a new stage in my life, where talks of plans for further education keep being drummed into my head, it’s been reassuring to pick up this book and feel as if I have two older sisters mentoring me and providing realistic advice about the future. After both graduating from Cambridge with established careers, they inspire me to fulfil my potential, work hard and continue to strive for success without letting barriers such as race or gender block my goals.
Whilst I’m still not 100% certain about my next steps, my goal is to secure an established and recognised career, whether that’s working in the business or STEM sectors, especially as they are fields heavily dominated by men. I’m driven to show that the glass ceiling can be broken and, just like my role models, encourage others to pursue their ambitions without the fear or doubts that they won’t be able to reach their full potential.
I’m thankful to my parents and heroes for teaching me valuable lessons about the importance of a strong character and mindset to overcome hurdles. This has provided me with the confidence to engage in whatever I am willing to work for.
Black History Month is not only a celebration, but it’s an educative tool that encourages the uncomfortable yet important conversations that are essential for progression. It’s the time where we celebrate together, reclaim history and learn how to shape the narrative for future generations.
I dream of a future where people are more tolerant of others when it comes to everyone’s differences. Generation Z are more open than any other generation, therefore I believe we’ll be the generation that takes significant steps in solving these issues.
If you’d like to hear more from Springpod Brand Ambassadors like Kimberly, and get advice on careers, degrees and apprenticeships, then visit the Springpod website here.