Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
Current residence: Collierville, Tenn.
Occupation: Graduate student
Favorite hobbies: Skiing, video games, tutoring/teaching
3 words to describe you: Ambitious, confident, and strong-willed
Pet peeve(s): Someone making a reference to Tea Office within two seconds of learning my name. Arrogance. Refusal to use turn signals while driving.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? In my sophomore year of high school, I decided to take the ACT, just to see how I would do on it, and I ended up getting a perfect score. That was great for college admissions, and it garnered me attention locally and nationally. Due to that, I’ve had parents in Memphis tell me that they’ve used me as an example for their kids, to show what black people can accomplish academically. It’s not the actual score that I’m proud of; it’s the idea that, hopefully, someone felt motivated by seeing Black representation in an academic space.
What is something we would never know from looking at you? That I had a whole career as a journalist that rivals that of professionals, all before I entered college! I got into journalism because as a kid, I wanted to become president and decided that the best way to learn was by interviewing other political figures. The list of people I’ve interviewed includes Cory Booker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. I also covered the red carpet at the National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Awards for many years, interviewing honorees.
Who is your hero and why? My parents! My dad was raised in a small town in Mississippi and is now a doctor with his own practice in Memphis, and my mom is a registered nurse [turned] stay-at-home mom. They’ve been able to do so much with their lives despite obstacles, thus being able to provide me with so much in my life.
Which past Survivor will you play the game most like?I hope to emulate Wendell’s game from Ghost Island the most. He made it far due to an extremely strong social game, and I hope to create that same level of bond, such that people will want to keep me around, even if doing so would be detrimental to their long-term game. Also, he performed well in challenges, both in the individual and tribal phases when needed.
Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor?I can be the Sole Survivor not just because of my social skills or intellect, but because of the passion that I put into every single thing that I do in life. If I set my mind to do something, I’m giving it everything until I see that goal met. I’m well aware that I lack typical skills for living outdoors, but many legends of the game lacked those skills initially as well. I’ve always been open to learning and adapting to my environment in order to succeed, and I don’t plan on treating this game any differently, especially in the succeeding part.