Today we’d like to introduce you to Cherish Witherspoon.
Hi Cherish, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story begins where the liberian war ends, I was born in the midst of the first and second civil war in a refugee camp in Accra, Ghana called Buduburam. My parents worked hard to get me to the United States in 1999. When we arrived on April 28th, 1999, the next day was my 1st birthday. I turned 1 year old in America and never had the chance to progress what my parents went through, however, I was grateful for their sacrifices. Growing up my parents dedicated the world to me, even though they split when I was about 4 years old they both made sure I had the best education and extraocular activities. From piano, guitar, dance lessons, track, basketball, gymnastics, swimming lessons to science camps my parents made sure I had a creative outlet to express myself. Fast forward to today I am a college graduate with a degree in IT management, a published artist, a full stack developer and an entrepreneur. Growing up with the experience of having things taken away, I am infatuated with the idea of becoming an architect- a creator of something that can not be destroyed. With God’s blessings, I will create opportunities for others to do the same.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My life has been anything but smooth I struggled with something called “misplacement” I grew up in a country town that did not really understand my experience and it was often demonized. I was labeled as “hyperactive” and “unable to focus”. My brain seemed to work way faster than others. Often I would rush my thoughts and my jumble words, even though I am genius my grades rarely reflected it. I also had a hard time feeling safe. My anxiety levels were uncontrollable at times and living with and being war refugees; my environment did not understand how a black girl like me could be so emotional and carefree. Projecting stereotypes and behaviors made me feel lost growing up. I was the odd one and even with my career path of IT I was lonely. No one looked like me and also liked what I liked so I faced tons of racism and sexism. It was hard loving myself growing up because to every child being included was important. I was the person that knew everyone but never fit in with anyone.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am known for my creative mind, from modeling to photography, from being casted in music videos to directing them, from being on websites to creating websites. I am most proud of my multifaceted perspective that will always set me apart and my studio that I own.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
My advice for finding a mentor is to look in your family first, My family has inspired me greatly even though they don’t align with my path. Hearing there stories of how they overcame their struggle gave me the fuel to keep going. Especially my mother who is a cosmetologist who build her business all by herself and my dad whose work ethic told me I could face anything with a plan. Also finding people who have the same drive as you is essential, Social media is a great place to find these fearless people and local events.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/idonotcherishyou/?hl=en
- Other: https://fangzmedia.com/fangz-museum-red-thread-connects-all-love/
Mark Khan (Main photo | @iam_markkhan)
Mitch Hirn (@mitchhpleasee)