Looking at the picture above, honestly, brings tears to my eyes. The photo was taken on a January afternoon, about a week before my 22nd birthday. It was for some interview that Babson was doing on me, spotlighting entrepreneurs around campus. The photographer motioned me to “turn a bit this way” and then “turn a bit that way”. As I shifted to the perfect angle, he said: “okay now on the count of three, think of something positive.”
Well...that’s when I thought about this entire journey I’ve been on. This entire journey that you (yes you) have been on with me.
If I could go back in time, like Marty Mcfly in that movie Back To The Future, I’d go back to somewhere around January 2010. It was there, if you were traveling with me, you’d find yourself in a middle school classroom filled with white kids. However, as you're scanning the room, you notice one kid quiet and kept to himself at his desk. You notice him, because he’s the only kid of a different color in the room.
That kid...well...that kid is me.
Ten years ago, when I was 12 years old, I was one of the few black kids in the room who had a rare skin condition which made him “half white and half black”. (look it up, I’m serious). But ten years later from that point, I went from sitting in middle school classroom, alone, to finding myself standing in the best school in the world for entrepreneurship.
And that is why the picture brings me tears: it’s my 12 year old self, which still exists somewhere inside of me, looking at the person who I am today.
Today, as I write this, I am a graduate of Babson College. I’ve always wanted to save the 12 year old version of myself, through telling his story. In other words, I wanted to build something that gave a voice to those who feel like they never had one. At Babson, thehidden became my voice. It became the microphone I wish I had when I was 12, and before I knew it, thehidden became the microphone for so many other people.
That’s what I want to re-introduce today, in this moment: the power of having the courage to be who you are. Everything I have made, from hoodies to stickers, preaches that and I wish to share that with all of you.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey. More specifically, thank you for reading this article. Chapter one, entitled “Babson College”, has ended.
Chapter two: “Boy Meets World”, begins now.
To the next chapter my friends,