Where They Take You

Written by Darien Woodard

Who has influenced you as you continued to pursue your personal or professional endeavors? Was it the kids in your neighborhood who didn’t have a positive outlet? Or was it your parents who raised you to be someone with morals and common sense? Who has influenced you to get you to the point you are at currently? Even if their influences are not in their life personally many people may use someone they admire as the level they hope to obtain. Here is an interview of both students of West Chester who minor in YES (standing for Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies) and iCamper students of a week long media camp, hosted by the West Chester University, we found out who influenced individuals into what they do today.

Interview with Aishah Nashedeem

YES Mentor

Please State your name and what you do.

A: Aishah I just usually go by Aishah Nashedeem, I really don’t tell people my last name. What I do is currently I am a student of West Chester University majoring in middle grades education with a minor in Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies (YES). Currently I model most of the time using most of my free time to book photoshoots, video shoots occasionally along with runway while also starting my own mentoring program for youth.

Who or what are some of your inspirations?

A: So, my number one inspiration is my younger sister Suhaylah she’s an inspiration to me because the way she loves me and the way she looks up to me puts a lot of not even pressure but up the bar for me for me to be the greatest I can be so she can be the greatest she can be. Secondly for modeling work I am inspired by Rihanna for a lot of my photoshoots and Naomi Campbell for amazing   runway work. And where I am from, because I see a lot of potential in my community so that inspires me to want to bring that potential out and do more for my community so that more people have the opportunity to be what they want to be.

 Would you still do what you do if they did not inspire you?

A: I feel as though I still would because I loved modeling and was always a part of the fashion shows at school. It just kind of fell into my lap, and once I did it people said I was a natural and being invited to castings they kept wanting to work and I just went the flow and now I network on my own. And as far as my career choice it fell into my lap, I always knew in the back of my head I was supposed to do and filling the shoes I was supposed to fill. But straight out of high school I believed I was supposed to have a job that pays well. But when I realized the classes didn’t fit me I found my next career option which was education. So definitely would have been on the same path and I believe that God put me on this path even though I sometimes try to leave said path I always find my way back on it. But the inspirations definitely make me 10x more passionate for what I want to do.

What do you plan to do with your inspirations?

A: I plan to definitely keep investing in my work and keep looking up the things that inspire me and always keeping in mind what I am inspired by. And I can never give up on my dreams because I know what inspired me to get me there and I can’t let them inspirations down and I know if I was to ever meet Rihanna or Naomi Campbell down they would tell me to keep going and never give up.

Interview with Bilal Allen

YES Mentor

Please State your name and what you do

B: My name is Bilal Allen I am a senior at West Chester University, currently I am here at West Chester to help out with camp and to support the youth. Outside of school I box I am very passionate about it and I’ve been doing that since I was 7 years old. I am trying to go far with it but I want to use my psychology degree as a backup plan to fall back on.

Who or what are some of your inspirations?

B: Some of my inspirations would definitely be my mom with her being a single parent and her raising me in North Philly areas how she helped me and how I’ve seen her grow as a person and how she helped me grow as a person she is definitely one of my major influences. Also, Nipsey Hussle is one of my biggest influences, seeing how he brought black owned businesses into black communities to help give everyone jobs.

Would you still do what you do if those people did not inspire you?

B: I don’t know. To be honest, it’d probably take longer for me to get there. Like Nipsey and my Mom kind of showed me the way and different methods for me to get there quicker so I feel as though with my mindset I had before they put a bunch of the stuff in my head it’d probably would’ve taken me longer to get to the point I’m at right now but I eventually would’ve got there.

What are your plans with your inspirations??

B: I definitely want to create more black owned businesses in black communities to spread the wealth. Definitely opening more doors and opportunities for the youth so they don’t have to be in the poverty filled areas so that they will have something different to do. 

Interview with Sekou Robinson


Please State Your name and what you do

S: I am Sekou Robinson, currently a senior at Roxborough High School and I make films and I have been making films since 10th grade.

Who and what are your inspirations?

S: Some of my inspirations are some directors such as Tarantino, and I really like Stanley Kubrick movies as well. As for what are my inspirations are, movies in general; they inspire me to go out and make my own. Sending a message through film is my inspiration to do what I do.

Would you do what you do without your inspirations?

S: Yeah I still would do what I do. Because I do not need Tarantino or those movies to do what I want because I am passionate about it.

What are your plans with your inspirations?

S: My plans with my inspirations is to make my way to New York and to become familiar on set all around and travel.