Name: Rachel Rogers
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Where do you live? Los Angeles, CA
What does it mean to have a voice? Having a voice means staying true to your fundamentals no matter the pushback that may come your way. At some point, you have to choose to stand up for what you believe, even if it is an unpopular choice. Most importantly, having a voice means to never let anyone else “make” you feel a certain way or take your choice away. Do not hand anyone the keys to your life.
How did you find your voice? There have been a series of events that have shaped my voice. Living in different countries and in different parts of the U.S. really gave way for me to intentionally meet like-minded people and friends that are, to this day, my chosen family. Finding my spiritual community provided the foundation for me to deeply explore my values, truth and voice while receiving the support I need(ed). Lastly, my journey to motherhood had a great deal of challenges. My son is my miracle. I faced obstacles of joy, excitement and happiness, devastation, loss and pain. This experience has been one of my greatest teachers in allowing me to advocate for myself, define my motherhood, comfort women that have opened up and shared their fertility journey with me and to honor the miraculous life I gave birth to..
What event or series of events led to you finding your voice?
I grew up in Los Angeles, CA. It was not easy for me being bi-racial and living in a community lacking in diversity. I often felt alienated, but I knew at a young age this was not the way life was meant to be. My gut told me there has to be a better way, a more inclusive way. As a young adult, I began intentionally forming relationships with those that I felt empowered by..
I, like many others, have been in the valleys of sorrow and pain. My purpose in life is love. From here, I can tackle and take on any challenges. My mission is to be a good, kind and informed person and to raise a great human. This does not mean that I am a pushover or allow myself to be attacked. How I respond to unpleasant/unwanted situations is fundamental to maintaining my mission. Plus, I love to see people win! I position myself to be on a life’s journey with others, to celebrate the wins no matter the size and by reminding them (and inadvertently myself) of how powerful they really are.
Because of my youthful experiences, I decided that I would live life in multicultural and sexually diverse communities. I lived in San Francisco in my 20s for college. It was here that I started to carve out my life to include those who inspired me to be creative and think with an open mind. I began to fall deeply in love with the cultures of the world. As I expanded my exposure to diverse communities, I began to discover which issues mattered most to me. I began to speak up.
Tell me about when you finally found your voice.
My life is about inclusion, not tolerance. My life is rooted in love — love for myself and those in this world regardless of differences. I identify with the difficulties and challenges that Black and Mexican-Americans face. I experienced my share of challenges (especially as a school aged child) and found that through education, my voice can be better heard and better understood by others. As a mom of a multi-racial child, I always advocate for diversity and inclusion. I want my son to see and experience a melting pot of cultures in his daily life outside of his family. I want him to see excellence in communities of color.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion whether I agree with it or not. When I feel I am being disrespected or not heard, I make a choice. I have found there are certain situations in which what I say or do is not received and that is OK. I am not only for peaceful resistance but also for staying in control of my thoughts and thinking before reacting. No one can “make” me feel a certain way unless I allow them to. I no longer not give anyone that power.
How valuable is walking in other people’s shoes, or empathy?
Empathy is a powerful tool that humanizes individuals and creates an opportunity for us to relate to each other. As a résumé writer, my clients come to me for support and I am here to hold the truth of who they are – having empathy is key to my job. No one has no skills. We are all incredible beyond measure and my job is to showcase that. In my work, I am here to bring it out on paper and show my clients their best selves. I can certainly identify with the idea of not being good enough. Though I am through with that old narrative, I still have my moments. Because I have been there, I can coach clients to help them see that they are much, much better than what they think of themselves. The approach I take with my clients is very similar in how I approach my friends. I am here to support, be of service and remember how remarkable they are when they temporarily forget.
How has your voice influenced others?
I feel I bring perspective and voice to people of color within my son’s community, especially more now than before. I advocate a lot at my son’s school. I am determined for him to have a totally different experience than me in school.
I am a former ESL teacher and taught to a global community. In my opinion, my students were my ambassadors to their respective home countries. Some of my former students used to tell me that their stereotypes against Black Americans were awful. I was often the first “black person” they saw and met outside of their racially and ethnically homogenous country. As an educator, I provided a supportive and comfortable platform in which they could share their fears (fears that Black people commit crimes, often heinous. Upon my deeper exploration, it seems this was and is mostly driven by movies and media) and learn and grow from their unfounded fears. Even to this day, they share wonderful stories with me of their new openness, compassion and inclusion. My heart swells when I think of this. This is incredible and wonderfully rewarding.
Where will your voice lead next?
On a personal level, I’d like to journal, read, and exercise more. These are the tools that provide introspection and allow me to stay true to my voice. These would also help me worry less, which has increased since I became a mother. I find that I have to make a conscious effort to bring it down. Worry is anxiety’s cousin and no one wants those two at the party!
I have had incredible opportunities as a content writer during the pandemic. I have really enjoyed assisting life coaches and small business owners develop their written web content and I look forward to more opportunities! I am currently planning another opportunity to be in a position to assist women who have been deflated in their path to motherhood.
Rachel Rogers is a professional résumé writer and founder of Résumé Writers House. She also writes for Randstad Digital Venture/Monster.com, and the Wounded Warriors Project which assists those transitioning from military to civilian life.
She is an educator and mother who is passionate about Thai food, writing, the beach and meditation. Her life experiences living abroad have been one of her greatest teachers and provided some of the best lessons in love, kindness and the importance of the preservation of cultural diversity. She spent over 14 years living in Brooklyn and considers that to be the city that raised her and sharpened her life skills. She prefers to be in the flow of life rather than in the hustle, and is always up for an adventure.