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How Mamabird Interviews will change lives - Areyana

Who am I?

My name is Areyana Proctor. I currently attend CU Boulder where I am double majoring in journalism and media production with a minor in leadership studies. I am an independent contractor for Mamabird Media. However, I am more than just that. I am the product of a broken family and a failed system. I am very proud of how far I have come and what I am achieving. I have grown to love the melanated skin that I exist in. The world has always wanted me to believe that I should not be proud of who I am, and I internalized that. I grew up hating the way my hair shrunk and coiled at the touch of water. For my entire life, my divorced parents spewed hate at each other. Neither of them graduated college, so that led us to be stuck in the lower middle class for most of my life. During the 2008 recession, my mom was laid off from her job. When I was 11, we lost our home and jumped from homeless shelters to family members' homes. Although I have seen my mother go through a lot, she has always been like the sun to my gloomy world. Seeing the way my parents struggled and how that affected me and my siblings at such a young age is what instilled the drive in me to succeed. I knew that I wanted a better life for myself. As senior year rolled around, I applied to as many schools as possible, some of them being NYU and Howard. I always compare myself to other kids, and my lack of confidence told myself that I would not get in, so I did not focus my time on applying for financial aid to those schools. When I got my acceptance letter from both of those schools, I knew that I needed to stop doubting myself and not let the world's expectations of who I was define me. After deciding to attend CU Boulder for financial reasons, I have come to realize that I could not have made a better decision.

Why are these interviews important?

These interviews are important because I understand first hand what it’s like to not truly know your parents stories. I knew that they never got to achieve their goals. I knew that they went through a lot in life. But, I never sat down and really talked to them. The stories of those before us are important. There are plenty of people in my life that have passed away that I wish I would have known better. I wish I could hear how their voices sound. These interviews also help to support young women of color that struggle from a lack of privilege like me.

How will making money change my life?

After knowing what it’s like to lose everything, I have learned to cherish life. I am very frugal. This opportunity can potentially change me and my family’s life. Years of trauma that our ancestors endured carried into the struggles that we face today. Making money will allow me to invest in my future and pay back my family for everything they have done to support me. I have always grown up telling myself that I don’t want to be rich. I believe that happiness does not lie within money and too much of it can lead to corruption. However, as I have grown older, I do understand that money holds power. It allows one to live comfortably and it will allow me to give a better life to my own children in the future. I am someone that uses the present to prepare for the future. I have also always wanted to leave an imprint on the world. While money cannot or will not solve every problem, it eases the obstacles you have to face to reach true success.

What will I do when doors open for me?

In this short life that was given to me, I want to die with as little regrets as possible. As I am continuing to meet amazing and inspiring people, I am learning about the importance of using every opportunity given to me. While it may be scary to cross that bridge or take that step out of fear of the unknown, that bridge or that step may be the extra push our life always needed. I am pushing myself to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable. I am understanding why I sometimes need to step outside of my perceived boundaries so that I can grow as a person. As doors open up for me, I will not waste any opportunity. It may be easy to slip into self doubt, but I have to remember that I am powerful. I hold the strength of my ancestors and I will use these opportunities to propel my descendants into greatness. Mamabird Interviews is the first step in that direction.

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