Newark has always been my home. I grew up here, went to church here, worked in my family's soup kitchen on Central Avenue, I educate high school students here and most importantly I was educated here in my most formative years.
Living in Essex County almost all of my life has allowed me to see firsthand the socioeconomic disparities between polarizing communities that are otherwise in close proximity to one another. In more recent years I have watched these communities begin to turn a corner. Laws that once caged people in have now been taken off the table. People who have been incarcerated for years have started to come home.
My decision to come to the People's Electric Law School was predicated on that observation. I want to leave a legacy in my city and going to law school in my home town was always a part of the plan. I've wanted to go to Rutgers Law since I was a senior in high school. I took a business management class at a summer program at the business school and one day the program’s dean took us on a tour of the law school. I remember sitting in the mock courtroom thinking about what it would be like to go to law school. The MSP program was introduced to me by an MSP Alumni that also happens to be one of my colleagues at my job.
I moved a lot around the city when I was younger. Growing up in Essex County was interesting as I grew up in a pretty nice area that was literally around the corner from areas that are not as fortunate. Socioeconomic lines were drawn pretty definitively. Driving up Springfield Avenue meant potholes and abandoned homes in Newark right across from big homes and freshly paved roads in Maplewood. Growing up in this county meant that I had to be very aware of what was going on around me. Going to the wrong town as a black teen often meant unnecessary and frequent contacts with the police for “suspicious activity,” or for “routine (illegal) traffic stops.”
All of these experiences made me realize the need for equity in my community. My family is very big on this as well. Not only does my family run a soup kitchen right in the heart of Newark, my parents have also had a hand in educating thousands of students in the area as administrators in Newark and East Orange respectively.
My goal post law school is to open my own practice. I want to be able to advocate for marginalized groups and make sure that they are treated equally. My hope is that I can use this discipline to better serve people who need proper representation. I also have a goal to represent celebrities and athletes who come from low income backgrounds to ensure that they get deals that promote longevity. In anything I do I want to be able to do it with love and sincerity.