Oh, to be young, gifted AND black. In the words of Nina Simone, “In the whole world you know, there are a billion boys and girls who are young, gifted and black, and that’s a fact!”.
Nina didn’t lie. Now, while “youth” is relative (I don’t care what anyone says, I’m still YOUNG), there are so many of us who are gifted and black AND killing it. The fact that we aren’t bombarded with these images disturb me. How can we stay motivated, inspired and encouraged, if we don’t see images of ourselves being successful?
This is why I’ve started this Young, Gifted & Black Series, where weekly I will share with you real life she-roes who are young, gifted and black. #BlackGirlMagic at its finest!
Meet Rayna Edwards, a linguist in every sense of the word. She speaks English, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic and intermediate French.
When asked which language is her favorite, she cites Spanish because “it is so closely related to her culture”, (she is Black, Mexican and Puerto Rican). She loves to“play with the words and make up new ones.”
Her accomplishments include:
• An Associate’s Degree from Rutgers University School of Business
• Camden Certified Blackjack, Roulette & Craps Dealer
• Corporate Ambassador for Atlantic Cape Community College Casino Career Institute
• Independent Linguist Tutor
• First Student Ambassador Casino Career Institute AC
• Creator of Rayna’s Royal Remodeling, a luxury customer carpentry and interior design company that brings the space of your choice into an innovative and interactive work of your imagination.
What are her tips for those seeking foreign language acquisition and mastery?
“Keep a written diary in the language you want to learn. Even if you have to use your phone to copy it. Watching TV with the audio or subtitles in Spanish and repeating it is the guiltfree way to practice while still enjoying media consumption.”
How does she stay current with the 5 foreign languages she knows?
“A Daily Greeting Board”, she says “is a great way to incorporate a greeting, the date and a cheerful goodbye!”
Want to learn more? Connect with her on Instagram.