Conversation No. 33 – Talking with Kiana

Kiana is from Brooklyn, New York, and was a third-year college student living in upstate New York at the time of her interview. Her days were spent “doing nothing, I don’t really have a life. If I’m not in school, I’m not really doing anything…but hanging with friends.”

Kiana’s Most Likely To Is: Most Likely to Make A Great Change

Listen to “Conversation 33 (Kiana)” on Spreaker.

We talked about life as a student in a small college town:

“Okay, so I’m going to use a New York term that we say…when I first went there I was like, ‘this place is dry!’ That’s exactly what I said because I was like, ‘where is the life?!’ [There] was no life. And it’s like extra-cold up there.

It’s cool, I enjoy that it’s chill and it’s something different from the city; but being there for a long period of time, it’s like ‘alright, where’s the life?!’ But I eventually learned to like it…mostly because of the people, and the community that I’m a part of, which is called the ALANA Community.”

She explained why she thinks a great change is necessary in the world:

“I feel like this world is just yearning for a great change. Like it needs it. And I feel like [with] the heart that I have, I can make that great change once I get to my level of success. You know, I just want to change everything. I want to change the poverty in America.

I want to change the bullying in adolescent years. I want to change the confidence that we instill in our children from young. I want to change all of that. Because I feel like a lot of us are…I don’t want to say ‘damaged’…but I feel like something within our generation, all of us are always so hurt.

And a lot of that needs to change, because it stems from when we’re young. So there needs to be a lot of changes [made] in this world, and I feel like I can provide that…when I reach my level of success.”

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Kiana talked about how the organizations in her college’s ALANA community  have come together to respond to some of the movements happening around the country:

“It’s definitely [in combination with] anything going on nationally. So, like after [the deaths of] Tamir Rice or Sandra Bland or things like that, our community kinda gathered together and had a discussion. We planned things like the protest and the walk and things of that nature.

So everything was planned out. But it would be right after something tragic would happen; and we feel like we have to do something. ‘Cuz it’s just like…I don’t know…we just have to do something. You have to say something.”

She spoke about her journey of personal growth:

“Over the years through different life experiences, I’ve learned how to accept certain things, how to adjust to certain things. I’ve realized what I deserve and what I don’t deserve. So, I definitely am not the same as I would have been seven years ago because I would not really have talked, and been a little more in my shell.

…I just felt like I was [basically] yelling at people too much, and I realize that I don’t want people yelling at me like that because then I’m going to have to go off! So, I had to take a little bit of a back seat from myself and just reflect a little more and think a little more.

Because before I started speaking up for myself, I was always thinking about everyone else and their feelings and not really mine. My feelings have always taken a back seat, so that’s when I started getting fed up, and started putting my feelings first. But now, it’s kind of on an equal balance; I’m thinking about myself and you at the same time.”

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We talked about the importance of acknowledging the people who’ve helped us become who we are:

“I feel like there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging, first off the truth…and you know, just how it is. People helped me become who I am. It wasn’t just me. It was other people. It was the experiences that I’ve had and the encounters that I’ve had that made me make this change within myself.

It wasn’t just me sitting by myself all day like, ‘oh, I’m just going to make a change.’ No, something had to happen. So, through those experiences, I made changes to myself.”

Kiana left us with a final thought:

“Please follow DJ Khaled (Snapchat: djkhaled305), whoever’s listening to this, follow DJ Khaled. He’s honestly [having] a tremendous effect on my life…no, I’m so serious!

I watch his [Snapchat videos] every day, and even though he’s saying it in a funny way that might come off [as] sarcastic, you can feel the genuine [spirit] from him. So, definitely follow DJ Khaled. He will make a change in your life. Bless Up!”

Listen to our full interview with Kiana

Check out some of the people and organizations that inspire Kiana: