Today marks Day 3 of our team intro week. Meet Sonya, a confident dreamer.
Written by Janae Gutow
A young girl sits, passionately watching 101 Dalmatians, dreaming of one day traveling to London. She is introverted and sensitive, with a head full of thoughts and a heart of gold. Now in her twenties, that once young girl has blossomed into an eloquently outspoken and confident woman: Sonya Harris.
Throughout her life, Sonya has traveled a journey of self-discovery, becoming a truly wise and one-of-a-kind individual along the way. Although she has gained more confidence since her younger years, she’s managed to incorporate the imaginative qualities of her childhood self into her adult persona. She uses the creativity she’s had from day one to guide her in life, which has led her to be the Affiliate and Customer Relations Intern here at Afrobeatnik.
What appealed to you about Afrobeatnik?
I clicked on the link for their webpage and I was like, “Wow, this is impressive.” I liked the core values; it immediately hooked me in. I liked what they had to say about the misrepresentation of beauty and I liked what they valued; it made me aware. It was how it was presented.
Have you struggled with identity or felt the pressure to conform?
Oh yes, definitely! That’s being a human being. I was an English major at the University of Washington but I was born in Chicago, Illinois. To be completely honest, there is a stigma to the way that African Americans should speak but I pretty much am a product of my culture. I’ve been here most of my life -- since I was seven years old -- and I didn’t speak like how the African American culture tells you how you should speak, so I used to get teased because of the way I spoke. So you kinda feel like, “Oh, am I not good enough of a black person because of the way I speak, am I too white? Am I too 'this'? Or too 'that'?”
One of the things that helped personally was not just friends and family but the fact that I had a good, faith-based lifestyle because, no matter what I am, for identity’s sake I am well loved by God. It actually helped stabilize me.
What are your duties as the Affiliate and Customer Relations Intern?
I am the cheerleader and encourager for all the people we want to get on board.
Do you aspire to have a career in fashion? What is your ultimate goal with this internship?
I don’t know if this is a career as opposed to a responsibility. What I mean is, I want to adapt this internship into my life and educate other people about it in a sense.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Writing. I play the violin when I get a chance to. Recently traveling; I went to Paris last year and I’m going to London in March. Oh, and laughter! Also, Netflix and Youtube. I’m not going to lie…I’m guilty.
Do you have strong female icons that inspire you?
This sounds cheesy, but Mother Theresa; she’s an awesome woman. Maya Angelou. And for this next one, despite all the controversy, she did something that I thought was really cool: Angelina Jolie. She was wild in her life but somehow she managed to let her wildness die down. She got this revelation of other people in the world and genuinely has a heart for different types of people. I mean whatever it is, I do appreciate that part of Angelina Jolie.
Describe yourself in one word.
I’ll do three words: quirky, contemplative, and joyful.
You won't find anyone else like Sonya in the world -- something we at Afrobeatnik love! Check out Sonya's take on why diversity is so important to us, and the world at large, by reading her article, "Why We Love Diversity."