Interview: Kodi Okebalama
This interview features Kodi Okebalama, a West African female living in Massachusetts. She is a Nurse Practitioner.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learnt?
Sometimes after I speak, I realize that if I had taken a second to think about my words I probably wouldn’t say them. Words are a strong weapon. I try to always think about what I say and how it sounds before I say it.
What is the biggest challenge for young people in your community?
Parents who want to be their children’s friends — that’s a problem. In a world where almost anything goes, children need to have boundaries. It is upsetting to hear about poverty, violence, and illiteracy around the world, but I am most upset by cultures that indulge the youth to idolize unnecessary behaviors. These days, role models are people like Rihanna and Justin Bieber. Not good.
In a world where almost anything goes, children need to have boundaries. It is upsetting to hear about poverty, violence, and illiteracy around the world, but I am most upset by cultures that indulge youth to idolize unnecessary behaviors.
What are your suggestions in defining better a role model?
I would model hard work as a student; integrity as a friend; and confidence in myself and my abilities. I believe that knowing your worth is important. I wish more young people would understand that they can be anything they want to be. They should know it is tough however, and must work hard. The teenage years don’t last forever, but they do shape the rest of our lives.
We stand with the most vulnerable girls and boys. We stand for resourcefulness, resilience, and hard work. We are advocates for youth and advocates for the voiceless.
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