" Get to know yourself! It’s harder to be passionate about a career pathway when you don’t have a strong sense of self. The path to passion begins with discovering your own values and interests, along with your ideal perception of the future."
Hear Katrina talk about her journey in choosing your major and advice for following it!
Taken at Berkeley High School’s Mixed Speaker Series where I gave a keynote speech about identity, culture, and intersectionality.
My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.
My childhood and teenage experiences with non-Black people played a vital role in my decision to pursue a career related to race and education. The anti-Black and colorist notions that pervade the normalcy of American life never sat right with me.
When my sister went to college, she showed me various types of art mediums that she was discovering. It was this inspiration that guided me to explore the multiplicity and impact of various art forms.
My junior year at AOC was vital to discover my career path. The recorded instances of police brutality throughout my high school experience brought me closer to the Black Lives Matter movement and pedagogy regarding Black liberation. The 2016 election furthered my interest in political education to create informed voters.
Somewhere between 11th and 12th grade I began to engage in art practice more intentionally. I played the piano and the ukulele, began to design my own clothing, and decorate physical spaces for my aesthetic enjoyment.
My senior year of high school, I started working at the Boys & Girls Club where I saw the positive impact of mentorship and robust education. In my experience here, I created relationships with many of the club members to foster both social and academic growth.
The summer after my freshman year I interned at a cryptocurrency/data privacy company in Prague and learned that it is possible to intersect science, politics, and art. Interdisciplinary works can create a strong foundation to societal chance.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Staff Programmer at the Boys & Girls Club
In my position at the Boys & Girls Club my primary responsibility was to watch the members and create programming that helped continue their social and academic growth.
I studied piano for a majority of my childhood focusing on the history of various musical styles and the techniques to play a diverse array of genres.
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Mixed @ Berkeley Recruitment and Retention Center
I am on board for Mixed @ Berkeley which is an organization that seeks to recruit, retain, and empower first-generation, low-income, students of color. I primarily worked in recruitment which entailed creating programming and resources for high schoolers looking to pursue higher education. Also supports the academic, social, and cultural development of mixed students on campus.
African American Student Development Office
I work with my campus’ African American Student Development Office to create programming for the cultural, academic, and social development of Black students at Berkeley. I help maintain the logistics of the Black resource center and typically offer support and programming in arts-based events.
BARE is a student-run fashion/art magazine on campus. I am on the operations teams which primarily focuses on the logistics of the publication and creation of arts events for members of the organization.
Student Ambassadors for the Arts
I work with other students to bridge the gap between the performing arts and student life. We create events specifically for students around world-class performances such as the Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
General organizing work around education
Currently working with a coalition to pass ACA5 which would legalize affirmative action in California. I’ve also worked with Students for Education Reform in which we advocated for schools to demilitarize their campus in the West Contra Costa School District in the Bay Area.
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
I am still constructing ways to merge the disciplines of art, politics, and education. The work I am doing now highlights activism regarding educational policy and political issues related to race. I have the opportunity to engage in these conversations through my communities in Mixed @ Berkeley and the African American Student Development Office. I also help plan activities that center art and its relation to cultural healing and political activism. My future career is uncertain, but I see many possibilities! I could go into law, teaching, mentorship, grassroots organization, art curation, political journalism, etc. As I continue my undergraduate career, I leave all doors to opportunity open until I decide what area within the intersection of politics, education, race, and art I’d like to go into.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Get involved in your community! If you’re interested in politics, try and find political groups in the area that align with your interests so you can learn more about the political system and all the bureaucracies that come with it.
Advice #2: Be open to many possibilities! There was a time when I strongly considered changing my career path to a more technical career, but after exploring code and software development, I decided a social-based career was better aligned with who I aspire to be.
Advice #3: Get to know yourself! It’s harder to be passionate about a career pathway when you don’t have a strong sense of self. The path to passion begins with discovering your own values and interests, along with your ideal perception of the future. You can make your interests and passions into a career that works for you.
Advice #4: If you’re interested in social change (and have a lot of opinions like most political scientists do), try writing and submitting an op-ed to a news publisher! It’s a great way to consolidate your thoughts on a topic, and it doesn't hurt to have a published work on your resume :)