Name: Frida Endinjok
What does it mean to have a voice? To be honest and speak the truth no matter how uncomfortable.
How did you find your voice? Finding the courage to end an abusive relationship established the foundation of my voice.
What event or series of events led to you finding your voice? Tell me about when you finally found your voice.
I think the most important event was to get out of a very toxic relationship. Unfortunately, I was verbally abused by one of my boyfriends. He used to belittle me and tell me things to lower my self-esteem. Little by little, I started believing these things and let him get his way. Thank goodness one day I woke up with the determination to finish the relationship. I knew that God put that voice and confidence in me. I was honest with him and was very courteous. I didn’t yell or want to fight; I just wanted to be free. Since that moment, I told myself that I should always be honest and not let other people be abusive or offensive to others or me.
Since I had the bravery to break free from that relationship, I became fearless. I started asking more questions at school, meeting new people, starting conversations. These can seem like simple things, but when you have low self-esteem and are introverted, they can be very hard.
Define “voice” and why it is important?
I consider myself someone who likes to be honest and speak the truth. Yes, sometimes the truth can be uncomfortable, but someone has to say something. Yet I do know when to be politically correct and to respect other people. I always keep in mind, “how can I speak life?” I want to make sure to have a positive note to my words. Yes, it is not all the time. After all I live in Los Angeles where traffic can get the best of you. However, I try to speak about justice, generosity, and how we can make this world better.
I am also a biomedical researcher, which means that I have the obligation to share my findings in order to make the world better by improving our health. I like to go to conferences where I can share and learn from others how we can address problems such as chronic disease.
What advice do you have for someone trying to find their voice?
I think people are too afraid of rejection. For me, I accept that rejection is part of life. Sometimes you get a yes and sometimes you get a no. For some people, getting a no is a failure. I like to see it as a new opportunity to see things from a different angle. There are 1001 ways of doing things but we like to focus on the one. If we think critically, we can find a solution. Don’t be afraid to share your solutions, you can save the world! Nowadays it seems like people share more problems than solutions. Yes, it is important to acknowledge problems, but what are you going to do about it?
Think before you say something, speak life, and don’t be afraid of changing the world!
Frida Endinjok is pursuing a Master’s of Public Health at California State University, Northridge. She has a bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics, which fuels her passion for sustainable food systems. She was one of the founding members for the Food Recovery Network (FRN) CSUN chapter. For two years, she was the president of the club and helped expand the program to the community. She has also served as a Regional Outreach Coordinator for FRN to organize one of the first regional summits.
Currently Frida works as a research assistant and project coordinator at the Marilyn Magaram Center (MMC) for Food Science, Nutrition & Dietetics. She developed the “Let’s Grow Healthy” program that delivers hands-on garden enhanced nutrition education to local schools. At CSUN, she coordinates the MMC Wellness Garden that offers gardening workshops, produce, and projects for the CSUN community. For her graduate studies, she is looking at health behaviors related to dietary habits.
From bringing nutrition education to children, helping feed those in need, to helping fellow students to eat healthy on a budget; her goal is to provide the tools, education, and motivation for good nutrition to all.