pauleanna reid 4

Against All Odds: The Rise of Pauleanna Reid

pauleanna reid 1One of the things I’m most passionate about is seeing young, driven black women who are determined to succeed; particularly those with Caribbean roots, like the young lady featured in this post. When I read Pauleanna Reid’s bio and found out she has never consumed alcohol and only sleeps 4-5 hours a night, I knew instantly that this young lady doesn’t play; she is serious about her grind.

Reid, whose first name means “excessively optimistic,” has certainly lived up to her name, since she managed to see a silver lining even in the darkest moments of her life. At just 27 years young, she possesses a resume that trumps that of some media professionals twice her age; at 19, she co-founded the company “La’Brown Styles” with business partner and friend Bianca Brown. At age 26, she published her first fictional novel “Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother,” which quickly became an Amazon best seller.

Her interview portfolio is littered with celebrities such as Keshia Chante, Olivia Newton-John and Jillian Michaels, and she is now CEO of her own mentorship program “New Girl on the Block.” But Reid’s journey hasn’t been an easy one. She opened up to about a young life marred by bullying and depression, and how she managed to rise above it all to become the woman she is today.

Silenced Dreams

Born in Ontario, Canada to a Trinidadian financial executive mother and a Canadian entrepreneur father, Reid says she knew what she wanted to be even when she was little more than a toddler.

“I knew what career path I wanted to take as early as my years in kindergarten. I always enjoyed writing stories and journaling.” Her goals, however, were met with disapproval by both her parents and teachers; disapproval that stemmed from their collective belief that writing wasn’t her calling. “I received opposition from my parents and teachers about becoming a writer because I was never good at English, so they wondered why I would want to pursue a career doing something I supposedly wasn’t good at,” she said.

The repeated naysaying caused Reid to become quiet and withdrawn, reluctant to be outspoken about her dreams. She explained, “My timidity as a child stemmed from always being silenced; being told to shut up when I attempted to be outspoken and express myself. After a while, it took its toll on me and I become introverted.”

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