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Introducing "Ray of Light" Nekkita Beans

1. Which of our three virtues do you identify with most and why?

Joy is resonating with me the most. I go back to Romans 8:18 that says, “the pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that is coming.” I feel that right now my life is a strong testament to that. I went through a lot in my youth, being abused and going through the foster care system but right now I am living in my joy. I love my job and the work that I’m doing with Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative and I feel so fulfilled being able to help people.

2. Did you have a mentor that inspired you to do what you are doing?

My grandfather keeps me motivated. He raised me and taught me what it means to serve selflessly. For me, what’s interesting is the lack of role models that I had growing up, particularly being a black woman. I grew up in a very small town in Mississippi and I went from K-12 having only one black teacher. I’m working within social services now and I know that my story enables me to own the work that I do.

3. What is the best advice you’ve received to date?

“It is what it is and it ain’t what it’ll never be.” That is something my grandfather used to say all the time. He basically meant that you can only control yourself and you shouldn’t aim to manipulate situations in your favor, instead it Is better to remain focused on what you can do to better yourself and you will naturally attract what is truly meant for you.

4. How do you see/ understand your responsibility to your community?

I belong to several communities. I am a cis-gendered, black woman. Proud Mississippian and Proud Southern. I want to take as much from the experiences I have while here but ultimately I want to go back to Mississippi and bring my knowledge, resources, and connections to improve the community I come from. I am particularly concerned with Health and Education and how I can educate more people to live a better life and improve the statistics of health and educational disparities in Mississippi.

5. Ultimately, what does success look like to you?

Success for me means being in a position to help others improve their lives. I already feel blessed but I want to share my blessings with as many people as I can.

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