Alumni/ae of Color Spotlight

News

Sarah Diaz '10

My experiences at BB&N were particularly formative and have directly influenced my career today in social work. As peer counselor, I confirmed my interest in working with people and was happy to find in my masters program that some foundational skills Mr. Newman taught at the time were transferrable to the profession. Furthermore, as the first predominantly white institution I had attended when I first entered the school in 9th grade, it opened my eyes to the wide gap in the quality of education and resources within the same zip code in addition to many other disparities. This in part inspired me to pursue a career with a social justice orientation.

I am most passionate about understanding and addressing health disparities in communities of color and other underserved groups. Currently, I am a doctoral candidate at Columbia School of Social Work studying the effects of neighborhood quality and social features (ie. overall feelings of trust and shared values) on mental health of Latinx residents. I hope to some day be able to design interventions that may leverage my findings to improve health.

Currently I am a graduate research assistant working on an NIH-funded study that aims linguistically and culturally adapt a digital insomnia treatment for Spanish-speaking adults. In this role I am responsible for various tasks along the research stages including recruitment, data cleaning, leading focus groups, and administering surveys. When invited, as a part of the research team I present at community health talks and health fairs.

I've learned that it is important to have a plan, but also a plan B, plan C, and a plan D and to keep an open mind about the one you end up choosing. You never know what random skill or experience will become relevant and useful. I would also say never underestimate the power of having someone in your corner. People have a way of coming back into your life so making a good impression can be helpful in unexpected ways.

I love that it's different all the time and I have the potential to have a lot of independence in the future. But above and beyond that, I love that I get to do mission-driven work. Writing and publishing will be a lot of work but I like that I feel like it'll mean something and like I can use a skill set I am good at to make a difference.

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Eun-Joung Lee  '91

Coming from an immigrant family that was struggling financially (thanks for the scholarship/tuition assistance BB&N!) during my years at BB&N I had a lot of internalized oppression about class, race, and what it means to belong at a place like BB&N where the majority of students seemed very affluent. It took me decades to get comfortable in my own skin, embrace my own history and journey, and reconcile my relationship with BB&N in a way that I'm proud to say is much more healthy and where I can finally say I belong just as much as my wealthy white classmates. That journey to belong informs how I show up in other spaces in my life - work, personal relationships, civic society. Also, as a faculty/staff member, Lewis Bryant single-handedly made me feel seen and valued while I was at BB&N — I will be eternally grateful to him.

These days I'm finding a lot of creative fuel/productive rage to write, post, and call out particularly insidious, harmful forms of white entitlement that show up in supposedly liberal, woke spaces like public radio, for example.

Well I'm actually starting a new job soon. For the past 6 years I've been an independent consultant with a focus on innovation and organization design consulting for startups, corporates, and NGOs. I'll be joining Intuit in a newly formed group created during the pandemic called Workforce and Workplace Strategy. As Head of Experience and Experiment Design I will be designing and running experiments to figure out what the future of hybrid work will look and feel like. I'm pretty excited - especially to work on something so timely and relevant to all of us.

Listen with all of your attention and senses first. Reflect on and get inspired by what you learned and then act. And have enough humility to admit it's an early prototype and you can't wait to learn how to iterate and evolve it as you test your assumptions in the real world.

I love that I had the privilege, luck, disposition, mentors, inspiration, forgiveness —self/societal — to try several, widely varying jobs and careers, suck at some of them, and then go try something else.

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Jubin Kwon '01

Jubin Kwon '01 is currently the Director of Marketing and Communications at The Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, PA.

I think back to the BB&N lessons and activities that shaped my worldview and thank influential educators like LS Librarian Mrs. Lee, who introduced me to my first work of fiction featuring an Asian-American protagonist (Lawrence Yep's Dragonwings). I think of Mr. Solomon and Mrs. Freeman in the 6th grade teaming up to convert homeroom and art classes to an Islamic-style school for a week. I remember Mr. Bosch in 7th and 8th grade English, who led us through books like The House on Mango Street and To Kill a Mockingbird. I remember the study of indiginous peoples in North America and being introduced to environmental issues (remember that hole in the ozone layer?). I can almost still hear Mr. Bryant's fiery, emotional speeches during MLK Day assemblies, and recall the day that Lenny Zakim, Executive Director of the Anti-Defamation League's NE chapter, addressed the Upper School. Upon finishing his speech, Zakim received a standing ovation. I can see him pointing to his son Josh '02 in the bleachers before exiting the stage.

20 years post-BB&N have flown by in a flash. That sense of accelerating time, living through the pandemic and starting to raise my own child has had the effect of focusing my attention serving as a resource and advocate for my AoC and Asian-American and Pacific Island communities. Also, my cousin is currently a rising senior, and I've had the pleasure of watching him thrive in a different way than me over the last three years.

Volunteering with the AoC has been, undoubtedly, the most rewarding experience of my time as an alum. Seeing how BB&N and private schools like it both regionally and nationally have responded to the racial reckoning of 2020 by involving and connecting with their alumni has been a fascinating experience. Serving as an ally to my Brown and Black compatriots and feeling their support as anti-Asian hate crimes have proliferated has me standing a bit taller and feeling more confident in my professional and personal life. I'm grateful.

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Bianca Jambahekar '10

I am very grateful for the education that I got from BB&N which gave me a solid foundation for additional studies through college, graduate school and medical school. BB&N expects a lot of its students and at the time I did not realize how impactful it is but it really allowed me to push myself and work hard to achieve my goals after high school. Lastly, I am grateful for my classmates in the Class of 2010. We had a great class and it’s always a joy to run into classmates now and again! So happy and proud of everyone’s success!

I really want to use my medical and public health degrees to understand and address barriers in the health care infrastructure. Specifically, preventive medicine has always been something I am passionate about and finding ways in which doctors can help improve compliance and trust in healthcare are goals of mine for the future.

I just finished medical school and will be starting my residency in Anesthesiology.

Never compare yourself to others. Especially when everyone around you is so intelligent and talented. It can be easy to set expectations of yourself based on others which is an easy way to feel like a failure. Something Bb&n set me up well for is learning from those around you that are incredible in their own ways and focus more of self improvement instead of basing your own achievements based on other people.

I have not begun residency yet and I’m sure it will be difficult; however, as a medical student, while the days were long, they were also very rewarding. As a student, i enjoyed my time with patients, and really enjoyed being able to take the time and explain to them the diagnosis, and plan. Something that surprised me working in the hospital as a student was I got a lot of credit from patients and families by taking the time to explain what was going on, even as the lowest member of the medical team. It is something I want to work on as well as a resident physician. Quality time with patients is so vital and can be very difficult to coordinate. I am hoping to be able to continue that in my job.

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Kendrick Terrell Evans '10

In full transparency, my BB&N experience was mixed. Even though I was provided an amazing education and met some of my closest friends at BB&N, I struggled with being accepted by the school at large. Luckily I was heavily involved with the Drama department and with SHADES which helped me explored what I saw myself doing in the future. After graduating BB&N and then Tufts with a degree in Anthropology and Drama, I decided to work in the arts sector uplifting the voices of BIPOC individuals, more specifically Queer BIPOC individuals whose stories aren't told with the honor they deserve.

I am very passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) work within the arts sector. Art has the power to be transformative and empowering, but it can't be that if it's only catered through a white gaze. That is why during my tenures at The Theatre Offensive, The Huntington Theatre Company, and now American Public Television as well as my current Board Member status with Rehearsal for Life, I have provided a safe space for BIPOC individuals to have a voice, and pivot the arts sector to be a more inclusive space for all.

Currently I am the Content Administrator of Exchange Programming at American Public Television. To make a very long and detailed job description short, I work with producers and public television stations of single programs and series from conception to contract.

There are three important lessons I've learned in my career: (1) Work smarter, not harder (2) Make sure you listen to your body and take time to heal. The work will always be there but your body will not if you don't take care of it (3) Know your worth. It will always be higher than what people think.

I love that I have a direct hand in what people will see on public television. I also love that I get paid for it. That's pretty dope.

Read more about Kendrick Terrell Evans '10