"I'm in school to get my masters of divinity to be a pastor at a church. I'm currently a pastor in training.
My aspirations to be a pastor go way back. My dad is actually a pastor in Jamaica Queens, New York. So I grew up in the church. I've always been active in the church. But one day I decided to take a break from it. I just felt like they were doing too much.
But then I later discovered this church in Atlanta that i thought was really dope. It was a church that focused more on African spirituality and black liberation. It really spoke to me on all different levels. So that's when I started getting involved in the church again. Eventually I left and ended up starting a church with a few other folks called "Rise Community Church". It was a church all about the arts and focused more on the young adult demographic. Basically, just a cool place where people can be authentically themselves and still worship.
So, from being a part of the leadership at "Rise", I think my mind shifted into what would a formal education look like in terms of what it means to lead people spiritually. So a couple summers ago, I applied and got a scholarship for the school I'm currently attending.
It's been a rough transition being that I'm like 3000 miles away from the ones I love. And now I'm realizing there's some systemic and institutionalized racism going on at the school that I've been having to address. It's been really draining because at the same time I still have to make good grades, I still have to do my ministry and I teach as well. So yea it's been a little rough these past couple of months. I'm just ready to be done with it all so I can go ahead and do something else with my life. I'm still pushing though."- Yani