In 2020, Dr. Cynthia Kudji Sylvester and Dr. Jasmine Kudji went viral after sharing they graduated from medical school together. But what made it more special and heartwarming was that the pair is actually mother and daughter. Dr. Kudji Sylvester got accepted into the pre-med program at Tulane University, however, she became pregnant with Jasmine her senior year in college.
Her pregnancy temporarily prevented her from pursuing her dream to become a doctor as she had a child to take care of, something she later said she doesn’t regret. While she didn’t become a doctor at first, she still decided to stay in the medical field. She became an RN and then a nurse practitioner. When her daughter went off to college, Dr. Kudji Sylvester decided it was her time to continue her education and finally become a doctor.
The mother-daughter duo shared their inspirational story on the Tamron Hall Show earlier this week. “I think a lot of times as women we tend to take on everything,” said Dr. Kudji Sylvester, who started medical school at the age of 43.
“When we do that, we put all of our hopes and we sacrifice everything for our kids and our family. And after a while, we just don’t pick that up again. And I think that [our story] related to a lot of women. We can do this regardless of what our age is and no matter what society tells us our limitations are, we have to believe that within ourselves and support each other to continue to live out our dreams.”
Dr. Kudji Sylvester received a lot of support from her daughter Dr. Kudji. After attending medical school together, they were also accepted into the same residency program and the duo said to this day they still rely heavily on each other.
“There were topics that 20-year-olds just knew off the top of their head and I was like, I haven’t heard these concepts for 30 years. So I relied very heavily on Jasmine. We would talk constantly about different topics,” Dr. Kudji Sylvester said as she reflected during their time in medical school together.
Her daughter, Dr. Kudji, shared similar sentiments. “We helped each other. To this day we still call each other in the hospital and we’re like, ‘hey I have a question about this can you help me out?’ We would Skype, we would call each other. All of the above.”
And this is just the beginning. Dr. Kudji revealed that their dream is to one day work together.
“I’m now in Pediatrics and my mom’s in Family Medicine so what that means for us is that we can take care of any and everyone. So the hope is that I take in all the babies and I’ll pass them along to her and they can just kind of continue with us throughout their lives.”
Check out the full interview below:
Featured image by Getty Images
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Exclusive: 'Praise This' Stars Chloe Bailey And Anjelika Washington Talk Acceptance And Their Favorite Scenes
There's nothing like a feel-good movie that you can watch with friends and family, and that's exactly what Praise This is. The film, executive produced by Will Packer and directed by Tina Gordon, stars Chloe Bailey, Anjelika Washington, Quavo, and many more, and it tells a story about how one's struggle with their faith can ultimately lead them to find themselves and appreciate the people around them.
In the Peacock original film, Chloe's character Sam has aspirations of becoming a singer, but her mom's death sends her down the wrong path, which puts a strain on her relationship with her dad. In an effort to help her, her dad sends her to live with her aunt and uncle in Atlanta, where she is introduced to the praise team thanks to her cousin Jess, played by Anjelika.
While this may sound like a fit, Sam is very resistant and continues doing things her way, further complicating her relationships with others. However, her undeniable talent breaks through, and she learns a valuable lesson in the end. Praise This isn't your typical church movie. While the story focuses on faith, the church shade throughout the movie is hilarious, and if you grew up in the church, relatable, and the fire mashups of secular and gospel songs will surely keep you entertained. I spoke with Chloe and Anjelika about the film, their characters' dynamic as "cousin-sisters," and the hijinks that happen throughout the film.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 03: Quavo, Tristan Wilds, Janora McDuffie, Jekalyn Carr, Anjelika Washington, Chloe Bailey, Tina Gordon, William Packer, Druski and Big Tank attend the "Praise This" World Premiere at Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University on April 03, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo by Terence Rushin/Getty Images
"I think my favorite scene filming with her would have to be our handshake because we made that up early on, and when Tina was like, 'okay, this is the scene where you pull up to Ty's house, you know, with the little handshake you guys do, you can do it right here,'" Chloe says. "We were like, 'oh.'""
For me, I really loved the scene in the house where I'm showing her my world and everything, and I get to sing for her," says Anjelika. "That was also my scariest day on set was because I was like singing for Chloe Bailey, like the singer. So, anyways, it was like a crazy moment, but I got through it. Chloe sat there [and] was like, 'this is great, this is funny.' She was laughing genuinely the whole time, which made me feel good 'cause then I was like, I'm doing a good job."
Praise This is available on Peacock.
See more from the interview below:
Stars Chloe Bailey and Anjelika Washington Reflect On Their Bond and Secret Handshake
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Feature image by Nykieria Chaney/WireImage