Arielle Dortch, 30’s
Current Role: Data Analyst
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
When and how did your family come to the United States? Where were you born?
I was born in New York.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Black?
Being black has taught me perseverance. Since I was a child, I have been aware of the fact that there were unfair challenges due to my skin color. I remember my mom having to advocate for me on numerous occasions. A time that stands out to me the most was when my school refused to test me for the gifted and talented program. I passed the exam with flying colors and the teacher had to apologize. Unfortunately, being the only black student in the program then lead to other obstacles.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest moment was receiving my diploma for my master's degree in Data Science. My undergrad degree was in Early Childhood Education, so I had to teach myself an incredible amount of content in a very short period of time. I remained a teacher during the day and would complete my grad school classes and assignments at night. I averaged about 15 hours of sleep during the school week. My family, friends and partner were beyond supportive during that time. I could not have done it without them. On graduation day, I was the only black women there receiving a degree in Applied Data Science. While I am proud of this, I cannot wait for the day where that is not the case.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
I appreciate my family supporting me even when they had little knowledge of what I was trying to accomplish. I was the first to study abroad, join Teach for America, and get my master's degree. My family was so involved that I believe those are their accomplishments as well.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
What advice do you have for the younger generations in your Black community?
Exposure is the key to success. Explore things you know little about. Yes, it's scary but it's worth it if you desire to expand your family's trajectory.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
The greatest joy in my life is seeing those around me happy. I would do everything in my power to ensure that people I come into contact with feel loved and valued.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
I am currently revamping my website teacher2tech.com.
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