Department: Office of Investigations, USCIS
Time with DHS: 2+ years
What led you to DHS?
Last month marked my two-year anniversary with DHS. My previous position did a great job of preparing me for the next level, so when I was seeking career growth, I found myself at USCIS and have never regretted the decision.
How would your co-workers describe you?
Over the years, people have told me I am easy to talk to, a good listener, fair, and always professional.
Where did you grow up, what was your family like, and how has that shaped you today?
I am a native Washingtonian, who comes from a hard-working family that places an emphasis on having a strong work ethic, holding oneself accountable, and trusting the timing of your life. I was taught that if I applied myself earnestly, what is meant for me will come to me when the time is right.
Who have been your strongest influences in life and how?
Throughout the course of your life, so many people leave footprints - some good and some not so good - and I believe we are a culmination of all those people. Our experiences with these individuals shape us in how we treat others, view ourselves, and the decisions we make in our lives.
What are you most proud of accomplishing from either a personal or professional aspect?
Defying the odds stacked against me, I graduated from the University of Maryland and Georgetown University, entered federal service as a GS-4, Office Automation Clerk and rose through the ranks to the Chief of the Office of Investigations.
What impact does race have on your life?
I am acutely aware that people will stereotype or make judgments about me based on my race. All too often I must prove to others that they misjudged me or that I am not like the stereotype.
What significance does Black History Month hold for you? Why is this celebration of history necessary?
We are what we are taught, just as we are what we eat. If you do not know the proper foods to eat, you will have an unhealthy body. If you do not know Black History, you will not know the multitude of contributions Black people made to this country.
As we celebrate Black History Month in February, what do you want your DHS colleagues to know?
Black History is more than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman. It is Unita Blackwell, Norma Merrick Sklarek, Constance Baker Motley, Dr. Alexa Canady and the Delany Sisters. It is the countless Black educators, doctors, first-responders, scientists, government employees, musicians, and artists who contribute to our society every day, often without praise or recognition.
Is there anything else that you'd like to share?
I encourage everyone, no matter your race, to learn about your history, then take the time learn the history of others. When you do, you will see that we are not that different after all.