In an industry where few women are positioned in front of the mic, Vildana “Sunni" Puric is on a mission to make a name for herself.
During the late mornings and early afternoons tune your radio to WPGC 95.5 and you can catch Sunni on the airwaves as the voice of Washington, DC., ironic considering at one point the Bosnian native didn't even speak English. As a radio host in the coveted midday slot, she's breaking down doors that aren't often left open for the female minority, proving that sacrifice and hard work pays off when relentlessly pursuing your passion.
It's almost hard to believe that at one point Sunni hated radio. The on-air personality is a perfect balance between upbeat and down-to-earth, the home girl that you can kick it with and talk everything from gossip and glamour to what's going on in the gritty streets of the DMV. When Sunni's in the city you can catch her on the social scene hosting parties or interviewing celebs, but when she's not living the glamorous life she's in the streets giving back to the community that she so closely connects with. For Puric, it's not simply charity work to write off on her taxes, but a reminder of her humble beginnings before Reggie Rouse, VP of Urban Programming for CBS, called her during her stint of unemployment to fill the midday slot.
“When I see a homeless person I'm like yeah, I know exactly what it's like to sleep out in the cold. I know what it's like to go days without food," she says on our call.
And that's an understatement.
It's the early 90s, and nine-year-old Sunni is playing outside in the woods with her sister and brother in Donji Purici, Bosnia—a town so small that even Google gave up on trying to map it.
Life is simple, but good. Slow. No telephone. No car. There was a television, which was occasionally tuned into one of two channels that showed The Simpsons and Beverly Hills, 90210, but even that remained relatively untouched. She preferred climbing trees and running through the countryside to planting herself down in front of the TV.
But when bombs began to drop one summer morning as a result of religious tensions between the Serbs and the Muslims, the Puric's carefree lifestyle quickly turned into chaos within minutes as the family was forced to snatch up anything they could carry and join the thousands on the run towards the borders of Croatia. While they escaped the mass killings that lay behind them, they had little to look forward to in their makeshift refugee camps.
The Croatian army wouldn't allow them to camp in nearby towns, many of which were littered with land mines ready to take the lives that weren't cut short by gunfire. The journey south quickly turned into the survival of the fittest and the generous—there was no room for selfishness when everyone was just hoping to stay alive. “If you have a piece of bread you share with whoever is next to you. Or if you get some water, you share that. I think that's where we created our own situation. Like we have to survive here so let's just make it happen."
For three years, they were on the run before being offered the opportunity to migrate to America. After an intense interview process to determine if her dad was a terrorist, Sunni and her family arrived in Hamtramck, Michigan in the middle of winter. It was a culture shock, nothing like the palm trees and white picket fences that she saw on 90210.
Surviving war was just one of the many battles that the future radio host would have to face. As a new immigrant who didn't speak English, Sunni was placed in ESL classes in the basement of the school with other refugees. Her new mission? Learn English so that she could move to the top floor with the “regular" kids, and somehow manage to survive the middle school bullies who picked on her for not wearing deodorant or the latest threads.
The summer before eighth grade she and her siblings pigged out on cheap chips and sweets while brushing up on their English from popular American television shows such as Family Matters. By the new school year she walked in with her head held high speaking the language fluently in her thick Bosnian accent. “I was like I just want to be American and blend in. I don't want nobody to know where I'm from. I just want to be a regular American girl so people will leave me alone," she says.
Sophomore year, her family relocated to the suburbs to a predominantly white school where her slang was just as unwelcome as her accent. She spent more time trying to fit in than creating a way out for herself, and by the time she reached her senior year had yet to settle on a career path. She took a radio class, but hated the small studio set up in a dark corner of the room. The good grades that she once brought home began to slip as she carelessly coasted through her courses, and her family began to pressure her about her next step, reminding her that they came to America to give her a better life, not a purposeless one.
After high school she attended community college and her sister snagged her a job as an assistant at a dentist's office, but she hated the sight of blood. What she did like was listening to the radio, which is what she was doing when on-air personality Kris Kelly for Detroit's WJLB announced that she was looking for interns. Sunni arrive at the radio station for the open call interviews, only to find herself in a room full of hopefuls that she felt she couldn't compete with. She didn't have the experience but she did have a story, which she poured out to the radio host. “She was like 'oh my God, this is really incredible. Yes, I'd love to hire you as an intern.' She gave me the job on the spot."
It wasn't paid, but it was a start. Her first day at the station was much different than the small, dark corner that she imagined it to be. Big studios filled with DJs and celebrity guests made her reconsider the career path she has written off just months before. “I was like holy shit, this is completely different than I thought. I can't be on the radio, but I'm definitely going to figure out a way to stick around and did something here."
Finding a way meant doing what others wouldn't with a smile. Her bright and cheery demeanor earned her the nickname “SunShyne" (she would later change her name to “Sunni" when she started working on air), which she maintained despite balancing school, an internship and an overnight clerk job at Walgreens. For eight months she hustled before her boss finally told her that she had gone beyond the standard length of an internship. She boldly told them she wasn't leaving without a job, and snagged the Promotions Assistant role for $9 an hour with an extra $100 doing club promotions one night a week.
But as much as Sunni loved her new position she wanted to go to the next level. Watching the on-air hosts sparked a desire to have her own show, but her thick accent made public speaking a challenge. Instead of giving up she got to work, and at the recommendation of her boss contacted the program director at a smaller radio station in Lansing, Michigan and drove two hours from Detroit for her first interview. She arrived to find that the afternoon host was sick, giving her the opportunity to do her tryout shift on the spot.
“Everything I learned in Detroit watching the personalities there, I did that here. I changed the show. I had a four o' clock countdown. I had a DJ at five o' clock—all this stuff that I added. And he was like okay you're pretty good, but you're still terrible. Literally people would be like you got the idea you just have to work on your voice."
She was offered a Sunday shift for $6 an hour, which covered the gas for her four-hour drive there and back from Detroit. She worked on perfecting her voice by reading books out loud and recording herself in the studio. The years of practice paid off, and it was just enough to eventually land her back in the top 10 market of Detroit as a part-time on-air personality. “If you really want something and you work hard at it, it's going to have to pay off. You will not fail because you're going to work so hard at it you're not going to allow it to fail."
"If you really want something and you work hard at it, it's going to have to pay off."
From 2002 to 2009 Sunni built her name in radio before Clear Channel was bought out, resulting in massive layoffs. Sunni, who was then working the late night “Quiet Storm" shift, found herself jobless at 26. Looking for a change of scenery, she packed her bags and drove to Miami where she ran into friend and former promotions department worker Necole Kane, who extended an offer to work on the then popular celebrity gossip site Necole Bitchie.
Initially sunny Florida was a much-needed break from the bitter cold of the north, but the heat and humidity soon had her packing her bags and following Necole to New York just months later. “When I got to NYC I decided that the whole blogging thing wasn't for me. I told Necole this is my year of my transition. And she was like great, I can see that your heart is not in it, and she's like you're going to get back in radio. I'm like no I'm just going to take a break from everything, and she's like no trust me, one day you'll get back in radio."
While walking through a New Jersey mall with only five dollars to her name, she received a call about an open position at WPGC in Washington, DC. Her former boss in Detroit sent her tapes out in hopes to replace the radio job that she lost months prior, and by January—just eight months after being laid off—she had relocated to the Chocolate City to work as the midday host for the radio station and continue the next chapter of her dream.
February 2011, Sunni sat in silent reflection as if she were alone instead of in a room surrounded by 80 people celebrating another year of her life—courtesy of Ciroc, of course.
It had been a year since she took over the midday airwaves, and though she'd built a reputable name for herself, she humbly remembered when just a year prior she brought in her birthday in a hotel room alone and a little scared, but determined to make the most of her opportunity. “I was in my own little world like holy shit, last year I sat on the fucking couch watching the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest eating a pizza not knowing one soul here."
This past January, Sunni celebrated five years at WPGC, and she's finally giving herself credit for all of her accomplishments. “Overcoming that fear of feeling like you're not good enough…in the presence of certain people I get like I'm just some radio girl that doesn't speak well, that's always really extra, that's tatted up, whatever. And then I have to be like no, you're a radio girl who worked her ass off, who's been in the business for 14 years now, who's done amazing charity work, who's helped so many people, and who's overcome so much. I feel like so many times I just get so…I'm just on the air, that's just what I do. And I'm like no…"
“You're phenomenal," I say, a slight attempt at completing her self-motivational thought.
“Yeah, you have to remind yourself of that, otherwise you can fall so deep into that thought of yes my job is shallow and I talk about celebrities all day. But I think the other things outside of [radio] has made me really appreciate and love it so much more."
Photo by Terri Baskin
Sunni isn't driven by accolades from herself or from others, but by the memories of once being the girl who wore the same pair of ripped socks for two weeks straight at a refugee camp miles away from home. In an industry where a woman at the top is questioned on her climb, Sunni finds peace in knowing that everything she's gained has come through a positive attitude and relentless work ethic. The best advice she received on navigating the industry came from a former boss, who reminded her that she deserved to be exactly where she is.
“For women, it's always hard for us because it's like when you get that promotion, how did you get that promotion? Or if you're pretty, oh it's only because she's pretty. Nobody can ever deny your hard work, and your reputation is all you've got. So when you work your ass off and somebody tries to bring you other shit, you know the hard work you put in you're never going to feel like it's anything else.
"Nobody can ever deny your hard work, and your reputation is all you've got."
Her best advice to other young women following their dreams? Stay away from boys.
“I was just a hot mess," she says, chuckling at the naivety of her youth. “I'm happy that I definitely stuck to my career because it taught me so much. Looking back at my early experiences in my twenties, I guess I had to go through all of those heartbreaks just to be the person that I am right now—easy breezy, no drama, very calm about everything."
But in all seriousness, she hopes that her story, which she's penning in a memoir, will encourage anyone with an unconventional childhood, who may be walking a crooked path instead of the straight and narrow, or who's just simply chasing purpose that it's all going to be fine.
“Looking back there were so many crazy moments in my life that if I were in front of [younger Sunni], I would be like girl, you're going to get through it. You're amazing."
*Featured image of Sunni via @officialsaraboyd
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can't have it all?” Do you think there’s any truth to it? The more I resonate with the thought, I realize it just depends on what one considers “all.” In this “How We Met” story, I chatted with two individuals who have reached an unusual level of success but, for years, celebrated it alone. Now, they have a beautiful marriage centered around faith, family, and legacy.
But the journey to getting there required them to be uniquely intentional, submit fully to God, and practice an amount of vulnerability that I think most people would find uncomfortable – especially on the first date.
Santia Brown, known more commonly as @Trackbaby001 on Instagram, earned the highest-paid contract ever for a woman in American football. Also, she is the first female athlete to have her own shoe company. With a combined social audience of 3 million followers, she’s established herself as a mega-influencer in the health/fitness and lifestyle space. But surprisingly, in our 48-minute phone call, we only discussed this for roughly 60 seconds. Instead, I had a beautiful conversation with Santia and her husband Isaac, a successful tech entrepreneur, about their dream-like partnership.
His company was one of the fastest growing in his county for two years, and he is the only Black entrepreneur to win a federal aviation award for being a government contractor. Plus, he previously won a $13.4 billion contract with the Air Force and Space Force (cues, "he got money" in my best Quinta Brunson voice). But seriously, both of them have such an amazing story alone – yet they made it even better by finding each other. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? Well, Santia felt the same way. In fact, on their first date, they actually tried to disqualify each other. Here’s how it went.
Let’s start from the beginning. How did you two meet?
Isaac: Well, firstly, we connected through the divine grace of God. But we met on Bumble and talked there, and she gave me such a hard time (laughs). But we built a connection online and then took it offline to the phone and eventually in person. Since that meeting, we’ve been stuck like glue.
Santia: Yes, we met on Bumble. But I’ve gotta add to that. I was pretty much done with love, relationships, and especially online dating. But it was right around Valentine's Day, and I felt like God was telling me to try just one more time. So, I created my profile and made it very blunt; I was super clear about what I wanted. I started swiping for a few days and eventually came across his profile, and I noticed our profiles were very similar.
I felt like it was rare for a man to be that intentional. Also, I like that he was attractive and an entrepreneur. I felt like he could understand my life. It took him a couple of days to swipe back, though, and I was little in my feelings. I was literally going to delete the app when he DM’d me. So, it was really the grace of God.
Tell me about your first date. What was the chemistry like?
Isaac: She was late (laughs). But we went to Seasons 52, which made sense because I’m vegan, and she likes to eat healthy. So I made reservations, but again, she was late. Eventually, she got there, and when she did, I saw the entire room shift. It was the weirdest thing. I’ve never seen that in real life. It was like the whole restaurant was looking at us. So we got a table, and immediately, it felt like our energy flowed together so smoothly.
You know how first dates can be awkward? This was exactly the opposite. She grilled me, and I grilled her. We asked some of the deepest questions ever. It was like we were trying to disqualify each other. After dinner, I walked her back to her car because she was recently injured. And in that moment, God talked to me. I knew that this is what it is.
Santia: We talked for like three hours on that date. I remember in the conversation, I said, “Not to be weird, but your energy makes me feel very calm.” That was a big green flag for me. I also remember him walking me back to my car and not trying anything but genuinely just caring for my leg. I was like, this is different. It was an A+ date.
"We asked some of the deepest questions ever. It was like we were trying to disqualify each other. After dinner, I walked her back to her car because she was recently injured. And in that moment, God talked to me. I knew that this is what it is."
Photo courtesy of Santia and Issac Brown
So, what are some of these intense disqualifying questions y’all asked?
Isaac: We asked everything. We talked about our thoughts on kids, marriage, church, gender roles, family, past relationships, and trauma.
Santia: Yeah, we asked everything they tell you not to. But that’s how I knew he was the one; he didn’t get uncomfortable.
Okay, so if you were still dating, walk me through that next step. What was that conversation like when you two decided to take it to the next level?
Isaac: I had a business trip I had to go to in Orlando, and because of my connection with the Creator I knew she needed to go on this trip with me. She was overcoming tearing her ACL and just needed a break. So we took a road trip together. We drove from Atlanta to Orlando in the car for 8 hours, and we just did the work. We got into childhood trauma and aspirations. It got deep –
Santia: Like, I cried. I discovered stuff about myself I haven’t talked about with anyone else.
Isaac: In that moment, I developed a deeper sense of trust in her because of her vulnerability. And after that trip, I just knew. She still had some concerns, but I was good (laughs).
Santia: Yeah, because I felt like something had to be wrong. Like, I remember calling my mom and she tried to help me just embrace it. Eventually, I actually asked him, “What are we?” And he literally said, “You’re going to be my wife.” And I still was like, are you going to ask me to be your girlfriend though, and he did – and I said yeah. (laughs). But that was only like a month in. It was very quick.
It seems like communication has been a core part of your relationship. What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourselves individually through loving each other?
Isaac: That’s hard to answer just for this week. A lot of our stuff is self-discovery. But I’ll say, I learned how skeptical I was that this is possible. Also, I learned that all of what I went through is crafting me to be who I am today. Through this relationship, I’ve learned to embrace my 100% authentic self. Her love matters more to me than anything else, and that’s my #1 priority.
So if she accepts me how I am, who is the world to tell me I can’t be this way? She has allowed me to see myself more than any other human, and because of that, I have to shower her with as much love as possible.
Santia: I don’t even know where to start. He’s taught me a lot since day one. He made me more confident in who I am. As an influencer, you don’t always know who is there for the right reasons. But he’s made me feel 100% more confident in standing on who I am. He’s also taught me so much about business. He taught me how to open up more, not feel shame in who I am, and how to set boundaries and stick to them.
And Issac has melted every fear, doubt, and insecurity I’ve had about relationships. I could keep going, but overall, he has a really amazing way of teaching me in a loving way. Having someone that sees and understands me – and not just the social media me – but Santia Barnes, the individual, has been beautiful, and I’ve never experienced it until now.
"Issac has melted every fear, doubt, and insecurity I’ve had about relationships. Having someone that sees and understands me – and not just the social media me – but Santia Barnes, the individual, has been beautiful, and I’ve never experienced it until now."
Photo courtesy of Santia and Issac Brown
How do you guys navigate past struggles, baggage to work toward your relationships?
Issac: On our honeymoon, I vowed that I would come into this relationship with a clear understanding of what’s holding me back so I can be my best self going through our marriage. For example, on our first day over there, we both wrote down all of the negative anchor thoughts we had around money and finances, and we literally went through every thought.
I found 50 financial aspirations, and every time I read something that I didn’t agree with, I wrote it down. And we talked about where these negative thoughts came from, going back to childhood.
Santia: We do that all the time. If anything comes up, we talk about it, try to get to the core of it, dissect it, and we solve it.
Okay, seriously do ya’ll argue at all (laughs)?
Santia: I mean, if we feel something, we say it.
Isaac: The way we got there is that we established early on that if we’re going to do this we have to be on the same team. We have a championship we’re trying to win, and that’s a family legacy. If something is going on, I’m gonna treat it like my teammate is going through it, and we’ll work through it. But it’s impossible not to have any challenges.
Santia: We don’t have to yell, scream, or be disrespectful though. We can talk in a calm voice and disagree. As long as we know that we’re on the same team, we’re good. I always know we’re not purposely trying to hurt each other, and I know that he's my partner. Looking at it from that lens changes things. We’ve only had two real arguments. It was early on, and when we dissected those too, we realized that back then, we didn’t know each other the way we do now. We weren’t sure we were on the same team (laughs).
Do you guys have any rituals or daily practices that help keep your relationship strong?
Isaac: To cement our process, we listen to our spiritual practice. We practice Sabbath every Friday evening until Saturday evening. So that means no work, no outside communication, we’re just in each other’s skin for 24 hours and experience the world together. Then we recap our week, things we’re grateful for from each other and from God, things that bother us, and then we process it right there. We do that every week.
Santia: We also go over a Bible verse and dissect it together. We have a lot of processes because when you have a plan, you can’t really fail.
Isaac: And the Bible verse always relates. It’s crazy. (laughs)
Photo courtesy of Santia and Issac Brown
What are your love languages?
Santia: Mine is acts of service, gifts, and words of affirmation
Isaac: Mine is physical touch, acts of service, and words of affirmation.
Are there any challenges you guys had to work through?
Santia: This is my first time living with a man. So things that guys do – like not flushing the toilet, putting dishes in the sink when I’m washing the dishes, and stuff. Honestly. I was really scared about that because I love my space. But surprisingly, I adjusted very quickly. We both work from home and have our own offices, too. So it just kinda works out.
Isaac: For me, it was going from being a single man to adjusting to her needs. For example, she likes flowers. To me, that meant I occasionally bought her flowers. But to her, that means, nah, I want them multiple times a month. Date nights meant occasionally to me; she wants them weekly. It’s just about making sure our needs and expectations are articulated correctly. We come from different worlds, so it’s important to do that.
Finally, I’ll close with how did you know it was love?
Santia: We took a trip to NOLA – another road trip. I cried again and just remembered thinking there’s no one like him. I was like, God, if he’s not my person, this is a cruel joke. But more blatantly, like three months into us dating, I was so conflicted because I was like, I’m falling, and I don’t want to be hurt again.
I remember I had a dream where I was in this dark room and there was this figure there, and I knew it was God, and in that dream, I feel like he told me clear as day that Isaac was my person. Plus, my Mom hates everyone I’ve ever dated, but she was like he’s gonna be my son-in-law. I had so many confirmations that I eventually just let go.
Isaac: It was multiple moments. I really got confirmation on the first date, but I became sure in one moment. I was sitting in my office, and she came in, and we were talking about her making history. So I started showing her some of my awards, too, and at that point, she still didn’t know what I did. And she was like, why don’t people know about this, and I showed her my Facebook page – where I had made a small post with a few likes (laughs). And she was like, do you know how many young Black children don’t know this is possible? It was different.
I felt like a hypocrite because I do everything for the next generation. So, she allowed me to see myself in that totality and still hold me accountable. The only person who had done that for me was my Dad and [he] passed away a few days before my 18th birthday. So after that, that did it for me. Then we went to the DR for my brother's anniversary, and she met my family and I saw how well she blended with my family, and I just knew.
Santia and Isaac are continuing to grow their individual businesses and love journey. Through that process, they have created an intentional dating platform on Instagram called @dateintentional1.
Featured image courtesy of Santia and Issac Brown