From Foster care to Goldman Sachs #18

From Foster care to Goldman Sachs #18

Find your voice – Episode 18- “On the other side of adversity” – Tiana Barnwell #18

Tagline: “I don’t want my story to be about my struggle…I want it to be Tiana Barnwell helped people, she came back, she gave back, she did it.”

Tiana Barnwell is a shining example of what determination and focus can bring you. With a vision at 7 years old to go to Spelman College she achieved graduation via a few years in foster care (kinship) disrupting her life but never stopping her achieving her dreams. As stated in the subtitle, less than 3% of foster care children graduate from a 4-year college degree so its a shining example to all those out there, anything is possible. With such a wise head on her shoulders and a why that far exceeds her own personal goals Tiana is destined for stardom in helping people through her real estate dreams. Now graduating with job offers from Goldman Sachs she pursues her next adventure and continues to grow and shine a light on the world.

I urge you all to follow this incredible story and women who will be a household name sooner rather than later.

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Links to guest:

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Have an awesome day

#JustDeuIt #FindYourVoice

[Music]

welcome to an episode of find your voice

a movement led by yours truly

Aren do a guy who has overcome

crippling anxiety adversity and

difficulty like so many of you in life

whose main goal now is to help you

combat your excuses take control of your

life write your own story and most

importantly find your voice so now

without further ado I welcome the host

of the show himself mr. Aren do what’s

going on people thank you for tuning in

to another episode of find your voice my

name is Aren and as always I am the

host of the show

so today’s story is one that is very

close to my heart and I’m sure a lot of

you will resonate with this story you

see I was on Twitter a few weeks ago and

I read this devastate in fact that only

3% of children who go into foster care

actually come out with a degree now I

was very very excited and actually

remember jumping up in bed when I

reached out to this individual and I got

an instant response because I

congratulated Tiana having read that she

was one of those three percents who

actually graduated and so she’s

effectively gone from foster care to

Goldman Sachs which is the company who

have actually taken her on and I was so

proud of her

yeah at this time I had no idea who she

was I knew nothing about it personally

now the reason it touched my heart is

because four of my siblings have come

from the foster care system and it’s

something where I try and be an advocate

for him maybe through this show maybe in

personal life as well where I want them

to know that there are no limits and no

boundaries on what you can achieve in

life and Tiana is a shining example of

that and I hope you genuinely enjoy this

episode because you see a girl here with

so much passion and enthusiasm for

wanting to change the world she’s also

from New York so it was always great to

get somebody from overseas on here and

also to give them a platform where

hopefully this can help her in terms of

raising her profile inspiring other

children but I urge you to stay towards

the end of the show because she says

something that’s really really important

and it really made me think after

releasing this show because obviously

tiles are important and getting you guys

to listen to the stories and engage is

important and she says something at the

end that really made me think about how

she wants to be remembered so hopefully

you enjoy it without further ado we’re

going to jump straight into it and just

let me know your thoughts in relation to

her final words thank you okay welcome

to the show and today I am very grateful

to have Tiana on the show today somebody

who actually reached out to very

recently haven’t seen her stories so

firstly I just want to welcome Tiana to

the show Turner welcome and how are you

doing today I’m doing well blessed and

highly favored thank you are you doing

today I’m very well thank you as well

thank you no Tiana is actually from New

York I believe is that correct yes I’m

from New York but I currently go to

college in Atlanta Georgia okay

fantastic so I think it’s really

important obviously for the listeners of

this show to hear a little bit about

yourself a little bit about your story

because for me personally I’ve got a

soft spot for your story but I think

let’s tell the audience a little bit

about yourself

so I’m Tiana I was born and raised in

New York and I currently attend college

stomache College in Atlanta Georgia so I

didn’t really get here the easier

traditional way I was actually placed in

the foster care when I was in high

school my freshman year of high school

and with that came a lot of baggage

there were court dates there were

therapy deeds there was just there’s so

much baggage that came along with being

placed in the foster care and it kind of

discouraged me a little bit from

applying to my top choice which was

filming I kind of just wanted to stay in

New York just relax just just get out

and and kind of just just be me and

initially I before I was placed in the

foster care I had not really told

anybody what was going on in my life I

was just kind of just going to school

going home occasionally staying with my

aunt sometimes and finally I decided to

speak up and speak out about what was

going on and that led to me being placed

in foster care and I wasn’t in foster

care and what it’s not a typical story

where I was placed in foster care at the

age of two

or something like that was placed in

foster care about 14 and I the main goal

was to return the parent so what I had

to do is I just got a therapy with my

mom go to therapy alone as well and just

work through the issues that were going

on and fortunately I was able to return

the parent and my mom and I have such a

great relationship right now so have you

got any siblings

yes I do have two sisters okay in the

house with my mom and I and my father

also has children so I have about ten

Sidley okay and in terms of going into

kinship ie foster care was that

something that was only yourself or was

it also the same with your siblings as

well

I’m just I was placed into foster care

actually okay well I think the positive

thing is what you touched on at the end

is that you’ve got a great relationship

with your birth mother how was your stay

and experience with in foster care so my

experience was it was good because

because it was kinship care I was able

to stay with my art I did have to meet

with a social worker every week and I

did have to do certain things like go to

therapy speak with a life coach and the

foster care agency I was actually really

amazing there the New York foundling I

mean they provide they provided

everything I could ever need so I had a

therapist I had a doctor who I could

always go to who was actually located in

the same facility as my therapist and

then I had amazing social workers who

would come check on me and not only

check on me but make sure that

everything with my well-being was okay

make sure that was meant to be okay and

even just take me out and and just talk

to me and also they provided a life

coach it was so amazing because I was

able to talk about different goals that

I had and being able to to just try and

grow as a person so I think for anyone

listening now Tiana you probably don’t

know this yourself I was actually a

social worker for a very short amount of

time as well oh yeah so I mean the

reason I reached out to you is obviously

I explained earlier for my siblings come

from the care system so I gave up

my initial job as a project manager to

become a social worker to kind of I

suppose change the world and try and

help children in your situation or in

worse situations I mean I’m sure you’ve

heard the horror stories so I have a lot

of admiration for social workers sadly I

think especially in this country they’re

they’re put under a hell of a lot of

stress and it’s a very very difficult

job so I’m just glad that you managed to

get some good social workers who were

able to obviously help you help you

develop as you explained earlier so if I

may I mean that’s giving me a little bit

about yourself what would you like

growing up because for me I think

there’s got to be personality traits

within you that have brought out some

level of determination dedication in

terms of going on in and achieving a

degree because I’ve done a degree and

it’s no easy feat so I think firstly

congratulations on that but thank you

what was life like growing up was it was

it difficult or was it just this bad

spell around when you turned 14 pretty

much an average life I moved around a

lot so I was able to make friends the

bad spell did just happen when I turned

14 and that’s when things kind of got

different but as a child I was always

determined

I always knew what I wanted like I

wanted to go to Spelman since I was

about seven and I knew that I had goals

that that were bigger than them being an

astronaut or being being something of

the such I knew I wanted to do something

that that was gonna make a difference in

the world and like like I currently have

my goals and everything and then when I

turned 14 that’s when I kind of just was

unsure myself and I was well I don’t

know what to do I don’t know if I’m

gonna do what I actually want to do I

don’t know if I’m gonna go to the school

I actually want to go to so that’s when

I all of the kind of negative thoughts

set in and crept in and I was able to

talk them out like through therapy and

everything and kind of just say well

this is hard for you and this is what

I’m going through you know I had so much

I had so many goals I wanted to

accomplish I had so much in me that I

just wanted to get out and spread and

from between the ages of like 14 to 17

it was really hard for me

lashing out and just not being the

question that I was destined to be okay

well that’s interesting

firstly I think you’ve got a very wise

head for a 21 year old to be writing

down your goals and having such big

aspirations I know when I was 21 the

last thing I was thinking about was my

goals it was more about where’s the next

pie or what we do tonight so it’s nice

to know that obviously you yes you’ve

been through adversity during the period

of 14 to 17 but I think it’s important

that we stress especially for the

listeners here that the importance of

goal-setting and this is something I

suppose I do now as a slightly older man

is writing down your goals because I

think there’s a power when you write

down your goals and especially yourself

you knew that you wanted to spread

something else you knew you had these

goals where you really wanted to make a

difference in the world similar to what

I’m trying to do here in this podcast

could you share any of those goals if

you wouldn’t mind yes so my main goal is

to actually open a chain of hotels

internationally I’m starting in Trinidad

and I want to do hotels because hotels

are not going anywhere

even with disruptors like Airbnb VRBO

and things of that nature

hotels are always gonna be around and

they can always adapt to fit onto

platforms such as Airbnb and hotels or

something that is that is gonna bring in

a lot of money and I and I need requires

financial stability because once the

hotel is thriving I’m gonna be able to

put some of that revenue back into the

community that the hotel is located in

about four to five percent of my revenue

from that hotel and then I also want to

take about six to eight percent of the

revenue and bring it back to communities

like the one I’m doing in New York or

some of the communities that I see

around Atlanta so that way I can create

economic stimulation in environments

where people don’t really have all of

the resources they need so I want to

open up job centers recreation centers

and park so that everyone in a community

can benefit from this hotel that I have

rather than whether they’re young or old

or unemployed or employ and just have

a backbone unity in the community the

type of community that I grew up in now

that’s really my goal so that way so so

that way the community that I’m building

in is benefiting and in the community

where I came from is benefitting so that

there’s no one left out that’s so

inspiring

that’s incredible I’m sitting here

smiling I mean I know you can’t see yet

then really I’ll just say there’s one

ticket she caught me 21 just here and I

mean actually giving me goosebumps

because there’s a couple of things

actually I want to touch on that so

firstly your awareness to the

marketplace so I’m a property investor

as well full-time so I also deal and

double in air B&B and book it calm so

the fact that you’re aware of their

potential threats to the competition I

say as a hotel is fantastic I assume

you’re going back to Trinidad because

that’s where your roots are initially

I’ve had some friends from there and we

go at least once a year and visit and I

just heard such amazing things and I

know that the hotel industry is booming

over there especially with things like

carnival okay that’s really interesting

and then the fact that you still want to

bring that back to where your current

community is right now and that’s in New

York I believe yes communities that that

mean mmm I love that I love it it’s it’s

funny you said that actually because I

wrote I was doing when I’m a Instagram

post this morning now I always try and

say like inspirational motivational

stuff and a lot of the reasons I do that

it’s kind of like must me talking to

myself if that makes sense so I’ll throw

something out into the atmosphere and

it’s kind of just me basically trying to

motivate myself in that moment if that

makes sense and one of the things I said

today was like I think it’s an old quote

is be the change that you want to see in

the world and I just get that from you

that what you’re trying to do is trying

to create this almost like a ripple

butterfly effect within your community

and I just think that’s really really

inspiring and I’m sure people listening

to your story and watching you do these

amazing things which Tom I’m confident

you’re gonna do I think it’d just be be

wonderful to see thank you thank you so

much absolutely so I’m quite eager to

find out about

people in terms of their routine and the

reason I’m very sort of focused on

routine is because I believe motivation

wears very thin in life and I think

discipline is very very important

especially if you want to achieve

substantial goals a bit like yourself so

could you just kind of give us a day in

the life of tiana and the kind of things

that you do maybe that younger people

listening to you now who maybe want to

follow your footsteps or take

inspiration from your story can perhaps

implement well so my daily routine I’m

away at school right now so I don’t

really have to say anything day-to-day

but I do start my day the same way every

day and what I do is as soon as I open

my eyes I checked the time and once the

same prayer I say you know good morning

Donald thank you for putting life into

my body for breathing air into my lungs

for putting a beat into my heart and

then from that from there I go on I talk

to God about different things I want to

accomplish throughout the day I talk to

God about my friends about my family

only just different things just so that

I can maintaining and continue to

strengthen my relationship with God so

after that I get a find my clothes I

lived with my best friend on campus so

typically after I like get up and

stretch and everything I walk into her

room she thanks God for open your eyes

sister chat we talk it doesn’t matter

about what we just talk and we get like

energy flowing happiness flowing going

and some marriages do my daily routine

to get ready and everything and then I

go outside and I I’m gonna mount us so

typically it’s sunny I got outside and I

sit in the side for as long as I can

just so that I have energy from the Sun

just so that I’m happy because you know

it’s like instant happiness

absolutely absolutely really so I make

sure I’m saying the Sun and I stand in

the specific spot on campus directly in

front of the stomach college mouse in it

and I talked to my friends they’ll come

join me or something like that and then

I just go about my day and stay hydrated

doing random word when the finance

throughout the day I’m in my senior year

currently so a lot of my a lot of my

random data bank finance are things just

kind of the last-minute things I need to

graduate like different surveys I have

to do different checklists I have to

look at things like that

and I always make time to spend my

friend starts and then throughout the

day make sure I’m begging God throughout

the day and focusing on my goals like

whenever I lose sight of why I’m doing

something just say you know Tiana it’s

bigger than this it’s more than this so

course you know I just keep going just

keep going I love that I love it that’s

so powerful I mean obviously your day to

day is gonna change once you fully

graduate and then you’re going to

employment but I think there’s certain

characteristics you’ve said there such

as your gratitude and your goals and

obviously that’s probably through your

connection with God way sort of portray

those I think that’s really really

important it’s something that I’ve

started doing recently myself I wake up

every morning and I write three things

that I’m grateful for and then I will

look at my goals and I just think

especially in life when life doesn’t

always go the way we planned just having

that rooted at the start of the day it’s

only helps move us forward so I think

that’s really really powerful that you

do that so when things are going bad

then if we just go back to that in that

period say for instance where you were

14 to 17 you were feeling lost slightly

off track I suppose in your life was

this gratitude element of your life

something that you kind of sidelined or

was she just very difficult with all the

toil more that was going on honestly it

wasn’t there okay it wasn’t there I was

just wake up go to school

jab court no drug therapy okay what I

have to do today is like I wanting it

for example a sophomore year and the end

of freshman year I played sports so I

was like can I even go to practice today

or do I have to do something else oh

great I have to do something else

perfect let me just tell coach I can’t

make it again and there was just kind of

like frustration like you know I can do

this I have to do that alright I’m just

ready to go to bed I just want to go to

sleep juice like the only place I really

want it to be one school and there would

be points where I couldn’t go to school

because I had to go to court or

something it’s a I’ve to go to court or

maybe the doctor to get checked out or

something like that and all I wanted to

do was go to school I have a good time

with my friends and see my friends and

my favorite teachers okay okay that’s

interesting so again something I just

want to pick out there the thing that

keeps you rooted now and so focused in

terms of achieving your goals was

missing during those four years yeah and

this is an important thing so I always

when I work with people I try and get

them to have some sort of good routine

ie through discipline so for example

working out staying hydrated being

grateful and I think these things

although they might seem tedious at

first if you let them slip by the

wayside life can kind of become a bit

chaotic and I know myself especially

when I’m up in the morning I try and get

these small wins in first thing in the

morning and that certainly helps me

I suppose tackle the day and I think

you’ve probably noticed that Nabal with

yourself as well yeah okay so just going

back to the whole 14 to 17 year old

common I graduated looking at where you

are now what would you tell a child who

may feel different who may recognize

that they’re from or they’ve had to go

into kinship or foster care maybe

struggling through that level of

adversity would you give them any sort

of advice or is there anything that you

think you could perhaps recommend to

them so they don’t really lose focus and

go down the path I suppose 97% of the

other people do where they kind of fall

back into the system again yes I

definitely have advice when you when you

start to feel yourself like becoming

somebody who you know you’re not that’s

when you got to step in and you got to

say you know what this is

me this is not who I am this is not how

I act and you have to really just catch

yourself you have to you have to be able

to take notice when you’re changing and

from that point that’s when you need to

start talking to yourself that’s what

you need to start writing your goals

that’s when you need to start planning

things and once you start planning and

once you start talking to yourself and

once you start talking to other people

as well that’s when things are gonna

change you’re gonna want to set goals

you’re gonna want to have hope you’re

gonna want to think long term one thing

that really helped me was thinking long

term I knew that I wanted to get to

Spelman and for for a few years I didn’t

lose sight of stomach but once I

realized Spelman is where I want to be

and I know Stormin is right where I want

to be that’s when I was able to get the

help I needed us and I was able to talk

to people and do exactly what I needed

to do to get this film and despite like

big years I’ve struggled in the years

that I didn’t really have what it what

it took to get me to spell it I mean you

also gotta just be prepared because it’s

very difficult it’s difficult because it

seems like you’re all alone it seems

like you’re not you don’t have anyone in

your corner you don’t know what’s going

on you don’t know what’s coming next but

you always have to have hope and you

have to have faith you have to doesn’t

matter which God and pray to you have to

have faith in you have to try to

establish a relationship one thing that

I can say is I didn’t really have a

relationship with God that day I really

didn’t get such a strong relationship

with God until I got to college that’s

amazing that’s erm that’s really useful

thank you for sharing that so there’s a

couple of things I’ve just taken from

that is the first one is obviously

having hope or faith and I think you hit

the nail on the head there it doesn’t

matter what God you believe in I think

just having faith in a better future in

a better circumstance or not an outcome

somewhere in the distant future is going

to keep you inspired and I think you

touched on it earlier as I when you said

Tiana this is bigger than you and I

think when you have a purpose that’s

maybe slightly bigger than yourself that

can keep you going as well definitely

that’s really really important but

another thing you touched on there and I

suppose I can relate to it to some

degree is when you said

feeling of being alone and I can relate

to children in the care system

especially within the UK because I feel

that do you feel that they’re alone

sometimes and there might not

necessarily have that support network

and I assumed you obviously had a very

good network around you I know you said

you had good social workers you had a

life coach how was your friends or your

extended family within that time as oh

did you have a good community there as

well who served as my foster mom through

kinship care I had a great relationship

with her and with my grandmother and I

maintain the relationship my sister um

my extended family they didn’t really

know too much about what was going on so

I did rely on my relationship with the

family that I had in New York and I rely

on the relationship with my therapist as

well you’re probably fortunate that you

had that relationship there because your

network can determine your situation so

much if you’ve got a bad Network then

obviously you’re almost destined for

failure I suppose yes yes okay so where

you are right now things are obviously

going the way that you wanted to you had

this dream from a seven-year-old that

you want to go to Spelman you had a

little bit of a wobble in between but

where you are right now you’ve picked

yourself back up you’re now focused you

found God you find this new sense of

belief what in this current moment now

scares you I’m graduating in 33 days and

what scares me is that I won’t be ready

I’m not prepared to go into this world

and live as an adult and handle

everything that comes along with being

an adult that’s that’s one of my biggest

fears right now I’m kind of I’ve been on

this campus for four years I’m kind of

scared of course no man has prepared me

for everything and they’ve given me the

lessons that I need to go anywhere but

I’m still afraid of what’s waiting for

me outside of these gates beyond filming

and ex-kgb cable of course I plan for

this is my I’m trying to get out of here

I gotta graduate but there’s next year

if something that’s so unknown I’ve been

in school my entire life

and I’m leaving and starting somewhere

new I’m sorry fries I’m just I’m cutting

that that’s my favorite I’m gonna fail

I’ve been waiting so long to get here

and I’m gonna leave the gates yeah

that’s so interesting that you say that

because here you are having this dream

as a seven year old you know literally

on the cusp of you’ve achieved it you’ve

done it now all of a sudden you’ve got

this new sense of fear and I suppose one

that shows your vulnerability which i

think is it’s nice that you’re you’re

displaying that because I think whatever

transition you go through in life it’s

an element of growth and you can never

really be ready for growth so it is

daunting whether it’s getting married

whether it’s having a child or whatever

that particular circumstances but from

this very very short encounter with

yourself let me tell you something you

are a hell of a lot more intelligent

than I am I seem to do okay after I

graduated I went to university twice so

I went back to study my Social Work

masters again at transitions so your

emotional intelligence is fantastic I

think also you have an advantage and you

should always remember this is that the

life lessons that you’ve been through

even during that short period of time

from 14 to 17 to 21 it’s built a level

of resilience in you that you may not

know that you have yet but I am

confident that if you continue your

faith in God and your spirituality and

you keep having these goals to produce

these incredible hotels in Trinidad you

will be absolutely fine you’ve got

nothing to be afraid of you’re very very

intelligent thank you so much that means

so much hopefully in about six months

time I want to get a message from you

whether it’s on Twitter or Instagram and

just tell me how easy is because I’m

sure you’re gonna fly wherever you go

absolutely I’m looking forward to

hopefully we maybe get you back on as

well just to kind of see the word that

you’re doing as well so that would be

fantastic as well absolutely so I

suppose we kind of touched on this next

part a little bit I’m always fascinated

by the way people think and one of the

things with myself is I have this crazy

thing where I motivate myself by

thinking about the worst things that can

ever happen

so I call it morbid nightmares and I

will wake up in the morning and I would

think of like

the worst thing that could possibly

happen and what that does is it kind of

shifts my ass into gear to go out there

and seize the day and really try and

make a difference try and help as many

people as I possibly can and really try

and leave nothing to chance

so that’s just my kind of thing that

keeps me motivated what kind of things

in this current moment right now keep

you motivated to go out there and build

these hotels and then change the world

I’m not gonna get employment after

college so maybe I should get up so I

kind of use days where I’m kind of

slacking I don’t know I gotta go to this

class because if you don’t go to this

class then you’re going to fail and if

you fail then you can’t graduate if you

don’t graduate you’re letting your old

family down if you let your family know

you’re still gonna be at Spelman for

another semester and somebody has to pay

for Spelman for another semester which

is not gonna it’s not gonna fly with

anybody so I’m not yelling me didn’t get

out of bed her name is MIA okay and

she’s actually so when I was in kinship

care she was in the house as well she’s

my daughter okay um and she’s really

someone that keeps me going because

she’s she looks up to me and she’s one

of my favorite people in the world I

mean and I’m I’m really excited cuz she

actually let me want to spell me but I

see you know this shot is so bright and

I know that she looks up to me I know

this child is so destined for great news

my under sisters she’s eight yeah it’s

not setting you of course Oh

but my younger cousin is 17 and I got I

want to be there for her and I want her

to continue to look up to me I want her

to see me and say you know what that’s

Fiamma this is my family I wanted to go

beyond what I’m doing I want her to be

better than me stronger than me and and

I just love her so much I just love that

so I’ve got three points I want to touch

on just from your answer there so the

first one is it’s nice to know I’m not

the only person thinking of morbid

nightmares in the morning so there’s you

and me there so that was fantastic

because it does really help I mean I

suppose some people have a

fight-or-flight response and knowing

your personality is probably similar to

mine that we have all these kind of

morbid nightmares or thoughts and then

all of a sudden we fight it as opposed

to running away from it so I think

depending on your personality I choose

which way to go the second thing is I’m

sure Mia is so proud of you and I’m sure

you’re a great great role model to her

so you should be very proud of yourself

that you have someone who looks up to

you and I’m sure you’re doing an

incredible job with that the last thing

that I really love that you said is

there’s a brilliant quote and the quote

says they want you to do good but never

as good as them right and I I get that

because I see it so often within like

the industry and I suppose when you go

into corporate world or whatever you do

in life you’re gonna you’re gonna see

people who will help you up and in the

moment they might see you surpassing

them they will automatically either

switch off or their will their won’t

help you as much if that makes sense and

it’s beautiful thing that you want Mir

to be stronger than you to be better

than you because that’s exactly how I am

with my siblings so my siblings are all

younger than me and my dream in life is

for them to have it all figured out by

the time they hit my age today and I

wanted more to be financially more

secure I wanted to be physically better

mentally better so it’s just lovely to

hear somebody say that and hopefully if

Mia hears this back as well I sure know

how important she is to you as well yeah

absolutely yeah just don’t start crying

I can imagine you getting emotional

about that’s lovely

what we actually do now is we go into a

little bit of a fun part of this show so

if you’re ready I’m gonna literally jump

straight into that we’re gonna start in

three two one

what did you eat for breakfast water is

that it okay sorry doc the ability to

fly or be invisible your favorite

subject at school money your fame play

your proudest moment your favorite food

prayer words Netflix or YouTube Netflix

your number-one goal this year

favorite TV show ever would you rather

know how you would die or when you were

dying how your favorite hobby love or

money love books or movies if you could

sit with one person in the world for an

hour who would it be your worst fear as

a child being forgotten words what is

your biggest addiction my phone your

favorite place in the world that’s

outside speak or languages will be able

to speak to animals if you could abolish

one thing in the world what would it be

and finally your favorite song ever um

it’s called it’s supposed to be a

favorite song okay okay I’ve not heard

that one but I’ve just written it down

so I check it out afterwards alright

I’ll check it out anyway okay brilliant

so back to the interview part we’ve got

two more questions I would really want

to ask you so knowing exactly what you

know now Tiana with all the knowledge

and all the wisdom that you’ve acquired

in your short 21 years on this earth if

you could go back to a time let’s use 14

as an example where things had just

started to take a turn probably for the

worst knowing what you know now and you

could whisper something to a younger

Tiana at 14 years old what would you say

I would tell her to keep fighting keep

fighting keep trying and I gave up for a

period of time so I would stress don’t

give up just keep going you know as

as instead of finding Nemo just keep

swimming just keep swimming and I would

I would tell me that I’ll say it’s all

worth it it all works out and you just

have to keep going and keep pushing keep

striving I love it just keeps him in

Nemo style I love it okay brilliant

suddenly that actually brings us to the

last question and the last question I’ll

again always ask my guess is if in 150

years time science fails to save us all

and all that is left is a book and this

book is about Tiana and it’s about your

life and everything that you’ve achieved

all the wonderful hotels and everything

amazing that you’ve done in the world

firstly what would the title of the book

say and then secondly if the person was

to turn over to the back what would it

tell us about you I think the title

would be on the other side of adversity

or life not according to plan and the

blurb on the bag would kind of they

would talk about it would talk about my

greatness as opposed to like everything

that I’ve been through my struggle would

be such a small portion maybe two

sentences but I really want my story to

focus on not what what I was able to

accomplish and who I was able to help

and how my plan my businesses were able

to give back and create something in

various communities and multiple

communities across America I don’t want

it to be this girl was in foster care

and she made it out and now this is what

she did I wanted to be Tiana bond will

help people Tiana bar wolf came that she

came back she gave back and she was she

was there hmm I don’t want my story and

foster care to be the main focus in my

life I just love that I think that’s so

so powerful and I think so many kids

from foster care or people that have

been through so much adversity probably

want the same thing so thank you for

sharing that actually because that’s

what I think the world should have more

of but I think we’re also in a society

where if you say TR and Obama came from

foster care and achieve this it kind of

sells more papers it gets more retweets

it gets more teaching

well I think is brilliant because just

thinking about this episode that we’ve

just recorded now it’s been a very happy

inspiring episode and I’m very grateful

for you taking that approach as well and

steering the episode that way as opposed

to we could sit here we could cry about

the year of what it was like going into

kinship care for example but instead

what you said is this was a wobble in my

life you reflected on it you realized

this was the person that you wanted to

become the person that Tiana was meant

to become is kind of strive and do so

many more amazing things and you managed

to change that you change your habits

you went to university you’re now

graduating and I just think I stand here

and I mean to be honest we’re complete

strangers but I’m just very very proud

of how far you’ve come and once again I

think you’re gonna do amazing things

thank you for sharing your story thank

you thank you so much for reaching out

thank you for giving me the opportunity

to come on podcasting and talk and you

know potentially touch so many people

who are in a place where I was

absolutely I think we should all

actually take one great lesson from what

you’ve just said is that we shouldn’t

just look at people for their

circumstances or how they’re positioned

in a family we should rather look at

their greatness that they already have

within them and I and I’ve tried to do

this with my siblings as well because

they all have their own unique skills

and like talents and I think you’ve

shared a very very valuable lesson there

so before I close the show Tiana what I

want to do is give people an opportunity

to maybe interact with you who have

followed this story who resonate with

your story to maybe follow you on

Instagram Twitter or whatever other

social media platforms that you use so

if you wouldn’t mind could you please

share some of your platforms yes so my

Instagram is underscore CIA and a K V

underscore and my my Twitter underscore

TK V in Gigi okay fantastic what I will

do is actually take the exact addresses

and I’ll put them into the show notes as

well so people can literally from the

episode click it and then follow you and

hopefully engage

via that I think also if you wouldn’t

mind as well let’s keep in touch because

if it’s anything to do with real estate

I’m always interested in perhaps

investing or being a part of it and

again if there’s any sort of social

enterprises or anything you want to do

socially I’d always try and find time to

try and make an impact on that as well

so certainly please do you keep in touch

I will I will definitely keep in touch

with you an amazing yeah yeah I thought

I always like to try and mix it up but

honestly I just want to say once again

thank you to you I want to also thank

the listeners at home thanks for

listening thank you and remember this

podcast is absolutely free so all we ask

in return is for you to share this with

a friend and drop us a five star review

over on iTunes have an awesome day

Leave a Comment

From Foster care to Goldman Sachs #18

Find your voice – Episode 18- “On the other side of adversity” – Tiana Barnwell #18

Tagline: “I don’t want my story to be about my struggle…I want it to be Tiana Barnwell helped people, she came back, she gave back, she did it.”

Tiana Barnwell is a shining example of what determination and focus can bring you. With a vision at 7 years old to go to Spelman College she achieved graduation via a few years in foster care (kinship) disrupting her life but never stopping her achieving her dreams. As stated in the subtitle, less than 3% of foster care children graduate from a 4-year college degree so its a shining example to all those out there, anything is possible. With such a wise head on her shoulders and a why that far exceeds her own personal goals Tiana is destined for stardom in helping people through her real estate dreams. Now graduating with job offers from Goldman Sachs she pursues her next adventure and continues to grow and shine a light on the world.

I urge you all to follow this incredible story and women who will be a household name sooner rather than later.

Support the podcast: https://www.patreon.com/rss/findyourvoice?auth=gBnWmJ5cdB_Q3FsUedWmWawIe7tjfbhS

Links to me:

Website: https://www.arendeu.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aren.deu/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/arendeu

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aren.singh

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aren-deu-65443a4b/

Podcast: https://www.arendeu/podcast

YouTube: http://tiny.cc/51lx6y

Links to guest:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_tkvngg

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_tianakv_/?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=xsp7wlt6vctq

Have an awesome day

#JustDeuIt #FindYourVoice

[Music]

welcome to an episode of find your voice

a movement led by yours truly

Aren do a guy who has overcome

crippling anxiety adversity and

difficulty like so many of you in life

whose main goal now is to help you

combat your excuses take control of your

life write your own story and most

importantly find your voice so now

without further ado I welcome the host

of the show himself mr. Aren do what’s

going on people thank you for tuning in

to another episode of find your voice my

name is Aren and as always I am the

host of the show

so today’s story is one that is very

close to my heart and I’m sure a lot of

you will resonate with this story you

see I was on Twitter a few weeks ago and

I read this devastate in fact that only

3% of children who go into foster care

actually come out with a degree now I

was very very excited and actually

remember jumping up in bed when I

reached out to this individual and I got

an instant response because I

congratulated Tiana having read that she

was one of those three percents who

actually graduated and so she’s

effectively gone from foster care to

Goldman Sachs which is the company who

have actually taken her on and I was so

proud of her

yeah at this time I had no idea who she

was I knew nothing about it personally

now the reason it touched my heart is

because four of my siblings have come

from the foster care system and it’s

something where I try and be an advocate

for him maybe through this show maybe in

personal life as well where I want them

to know that there are no limits and no

boundaries on what you can achieve in

life and Tiana is a shining example of

that and I hope you genuinely enjoy this

episode because you see a girl here with

so much passion and enthusiasm for

wanting to change the world she’s also

from New York so it was always great to

get somebody from overseas on here and

also to give them a platform where

hopefully this can help her in terms of

raising her profile inspiring other

children but I urge you to stay towards

the end of the show because she says

something that’s really really important

and it really made me think after

releasing this show because obviously

tiles are important and getting you guys

to listen to the stories and engage is

important and she says something at the

end that really made me think about how

she wants to be remembered so hopefully

you enjoy it without further ado we’re

going to jump straight into it and just

let me know your thoughts in relation to

her final words thank you okay welcome

to the show and today I am very grateful

to have Tiana on the show today somebody

who actually reached out to very

recently haven’t seen her stories so

firstly I just want to welcome Tiana to

the show Turner welcome and how are you

doing today I’m doing well blessed and

highly favored thank you are you doing

today I’m very well thank you as well

thank you no Tiana is actually from New

York I believe is that correct yes I’m

from New York but I currently go to

college in Atlanta Georgia okay

fantastic so I think it’s really

important obviously for the listeners of

this show to hear a little bit about

yourself a little bit about your story

because for me personally I’ve got a

soft spot for your story but I think

let’s tell the audience a little bit

about yourself

so I’m Tiana I was born and raised in

New York and I currently attend college

stomache College in Atlanta Georgia so I

didn’t really get here the easier

traditional way I was actually placed in

the foster care when I was in high

school my freshman year of high school

and with that came a lot of baggage

there were court dates there were

therapy deeds there was just there’s so

much baggage that came along with being

placed in the foster care and it kind of

discouraged me a little bit from

applying to my top choice which was

filming I kind of just wanted to stay in

New York just relax just just get out

and and kind of just just be me and

initially I before I was placed in the

foster care I had not really told

anybody what was going on in my life I

was just kind of just going to school

going home occasionally staying with my

aunt sometimes and finally I decided to

speak up and speak out about what was

going on and that led to me being placed

in foster care and I wasn’t in foster

care and what it’s not a typical story

where I was placed in foster care at the

age of two

or something like that was placed in

foster care about 14 and I the main goal

was to return the parent so what I had

to do is I just got a therapy with my

mom go to therapy alone as well and just

work through the issues that were going

on and fortunately I was able to return

the parent and my mom and I have such a

great relationship right now so have you

got any siblings

yes I do have two sisters okay in the

house with my mom and I and my father

also has children so I have about ten

Sidley okay and in terms of going into

kinship ie foster care was that

something that was only yourself or was

it also the same with your siblings as

well

I’m just I was placed into foster care

actually okay well I think the positive

thing is what you touched on at the end

is that you’ve got a great relationship

with your birth mother how was your stay

and experience with in foster care so my

experience was it was good because

because it was kinship care I was able

to stay with my art I did have to meet

with a social worker every week and I

did have to do certain things like go to

therapy speak with a life coach and the

foster care agency I was actually really

amazing there the New York foundling I

mean they provide they provided

everything I could ever need so I had a

therapist I had a doctor who I could

always go to who was actually located in

the same facility as my therapist and

then I had amazing social workers who

would come check on me and not only

check on me but make sure that

everything with my well-being was okay

make sure that was meant to be okay and

even just take me out and and just talk

to me and also they provided a life

coach it was so amazing because I was

able to talk about different goals that

I had and being able to to just try and

grow as a person so I think for anyone

listening now Tiana you probably don’t

know this yourself I was actually a

social worker for a very short amount of

time as well oh yeah so I mean the

reason I reached out to you is obviously

I explained earlier for my siblings come

from the care system so I gave up

my initial job as a project manager to

become a social worker to kind of I

suppose change the world and try and

help children in your situation or in

worse situations I mean I’m sure you’ve

heard the horror stories so I have a lot

of admiration for social workers sadly I

think especially in this country they’re

they’re put under a hell of a lot of

stress and it’s a very very difficult

job so I’m just glad that you managed to

get some good social workers who were

able to obviously help you help you

develop as you explained earlier so if I

may I mean that’s giving me a little bit

about yourself what would you like

growing up because for me I think

there’s got to be personality traits

within you that have brought out some

level of determination dedication in

terms of going on in and achieving a

degree because I’ve done a degree and

it’s no easy feat so I think firstly

congratulations on that but thank you

what was life like growing up was it was

it difficult or was it just this bad

spell around when you turned 14 pretty

much an average life I moved around a

lot so I was able to make friends the

bad spell did just happen when I turned

14 and that’s when things kind of got

different but as a child I was always

determined

I always knew what I wanted like I

wanted to go to Spelman since I was

about seven and I knew that I had goals

that that were bigger than them being an

astronaut or being being something of

the such I knew I wanted to do something

that that was gonna make a difference in

the world and like like I currently have

my goals and everything and then when I

turned 14 that’s when I kind of just was

unsure myself and I was well I don’t

know what to do I don’t know if I’m

gonna do what I actually want to do I

don’t know if I’m gonna go to the school

I actually want to go to so that’s when

I all of the kind of negative thoughts

set in and crept in and I was able to

talk them out like through therapy and

everything and kind of just say well

this is hard for you and this is what

I’m going through you know I had so much

I had so many goals I wanted to

accomplish I had so much in me that I

just wanted to get out and spread and

from between the ages of like 14 to 17

it was really hard for me

lashing out and just not being the

question that I was destined to be okay

well that’s interesting

firstly I think you’ve got a very wise

head for a 21 year old to be writing

down your goals and having such big

aspirations I know when I was 21 the

last thing I was thinking about was my

goals it was more about where’s the next

pie or what we do tonight so it’s nice

to know that obviously you yes you’ve

been through adversity during the period

of 14 to 17 but I think it’s important

that we stress especially for the

listeners here that the importance of

goal-setting and this is something I

suppose I do now as a slightly older man

is writing down your goals because I

think there’s a power when you write

down your goals and especially yourself

you knew that you wanted to spread

something else you knew you had these

goals where you really wanted to make a

difference in the world similar to what

I’m trying to do here in this podcast

could you share any of those goals if

you wouldn’t mind yes so my main goal is

to actually open a chain of hotels

internationally I’m starting in Trinidad

and I want to do hotels because hotels

are not going anywhere

even with disruptors like Airbnb VRBO

and things of that nature

hotels are always gonna be around and

they can always adapt to fit onto

platforms such as Airbnb and hotels or

something that is that is gonna bring in

a lot of money and I and I need requires

financial stability because once the

hotel is thriving I’m gonna be able to

put some of that revenue back into the

community that the hotel is located in

about four to five percent of my revenue

from that hotel and then I also want to

take about six to eight percent of the

revenue and bring it back to communities

like the one I’m doing in New York or

some of the communities that I see

around Atlanta so that way I can create

economic stimulation in environments

where people don’t really have all of

the resources they need so I want to

open up job centers recreation centers

and park so that everyone in a community

can benefit from this hotel that I have

rather than whether they’re young or old

or unemployed or employ and just have

a backbone unity in the community the

type of community that I grew up in now

that’s really my goal so that way so so

that way the community that I’m building

in is benefiting and in the community

where I came from is benefitting so that

there’s no one left out that’s so

inspiring

that’s incredible I’m sitting here

smiling I mean I know you can’t see yet

then really I’ll just say there’s one

ticket she caught me 21 just here and I

mean actually giving me goosebumps

because there’s a couple of things

actually I want to touch on that so

firstly your awareness to the

marketplace so I’m a property investor

as well full-time so I also deal and

double in air B&B and book it calm so

the fact that you’re aware of their

potential threats to the competition I

say as a hotel is fantastic I assume

you’re going back to Trinidad because

that’s where your roots are initially

I’ve had some friends from there and we

go at least once a year and visit and I

just heard such amazing things and I

know that the hotel industry is booming

over there especially with things like

carnival okay that’s really interesting

and then the fact that you still want to

bring that back to where your current

community is right now and that’s in New

York I believe yes communities that that

mean mmm I love that I love it it’s it’s

funny you said that actually because I

wrote I was doing when I’m a Instagram

post this morning now I always try and

say like inspirational motivational

stuff and a lot of the reasons I do that

it’s kind of like must me talking to

myself if that makes sense so I’ll throw

something out into the atmosphere and

it’s kind of just me basically trying to

motivate myself in that moment if that

makes sense and one of the things I said

today was like I think it’s an old quote

is be the change that you want to see in

the world and I just get that from you

that what you’re trying to do is trying

to create this almost like a ripple

butterfly effect within your community

and I just think that’s really really

inspiring and I’m sure people listening

to your story and watching you do these

amazing things which Tom I’m confident

you’re gonna do I think it’d just be be

wonderful to see thank you thank you so

much absolutely so I’m quite eager to

find out about

people in terms of their routine and the

reason I’m very sort of focused on

routine is because I believe motivation

wears very thin in life and I think

discipline is very very important

especially if you want to achieve

substantial goals a bit like yourself so

could you just kind of give us a day in

the life of tiana and the kind of things

that you do maybe that younger people

listening to you now who maybe want to

follow your footsteps or take

inspiration from your story can perhaps

implement well so my daily routine I’m

away at school right now so I don’t

really have to say anything day-to-day

but I do start my day the same way every

day and what I do is as soon as I open

my eyes I checked the time and once the

same prayer I say you know good morning

Donald thank you for putting life into

my body for breathing air into my lungs

for putting a beat into my heart and

then from that from there I go on I talk

to God about different things I want to

accomplish throughout the day I talk to

God about my friends about my family

only just different things just so that

I can maintaining and continue to

strengthen my relationship with God so

after that I get a find my clothes I

lived with my best friend on campus so

typically after I like get up and

stretch and everything I walk into her

room she thanks God for open your eyes

sister chat we talk it doesn’t matter

about what we just talk and we get like

energy flowing happiness flowing going

and some marriages do my daily routine

to get ready and everything and then I

go outside and I I’m gonna mount us so

typically it’s sunny I got outside and I

sit in the side for as long as I can

just so that I have energy from the Sun

just so that I’m happy because you know

it’s like instant happiness

absolutely absolutely really so I make

sure I’m saying the Sun and I stand in

the specific spot on campus directly in

front of the stomach college mouse in it

and I talked to my friends they’ll come

join me or something like that and then

I just go about my day and stay hydrated

doing random word when the finance

throughout the day I’m in my senior year

currently so a lot of my a lot of my

random data bank finance are things just

kind of the last-minute things I need to

graduate like different surveys I have

to do different checklists I have to

look at things like that

and I always make time to spend my

friend starts and then throughout the

day make sure I’m begging God throughout

the day and focusing on my goals like

whenever I lose sight of why I’m doing

something just say you know Tiana it’s

bigger than this it’s more than this so

course you know I just keep going just

keep going I love that I love it that’s

so powerful I mean obviously your day to

day is gonna change once you fully

graduate and then you’re going to

employment but I think there’s certain

characteristics you’ve said there such

as your gratitude and your goals and

obviously that’s probably through your

connection with God way sort of portray

those I think that’s really really

important it’s something that I’ve

started doing recently myself I wake up

every morning and I write three things

that I’m grateful for and then I will

look at my goals and I just think

especially in life when life doesn’t

always go the way we planned just having

that rooted at the start of the day it’s

only helps move us forward so I think

that’s really really powerful that you

do that so when things are going bad

then if we just go back to that in that

period say for instance where you were

14 to 17 you were feeling lost slightly

off track I suppose in your life was

this gratitude element of your life

something that you kind of sidelined or

was she just very difficult with all the

toil more that was going on honestly it

wasn’t there okay it wasn’t there I was

just wake up go to school

jab court no drug therapy okay what I

have to do today is like I wanting it

for example a sophomore year and the end

of freshman year I played sports so I

was like can I even go to practice today

or do I have to do something else oh

great I have to do something else

perfect let me just tell coach I can’t

make it again and there was just kind of

like frustration like you know I can do

this I have to do that alright I’m just

ready to go to bed I just want to go to

sleep juice like the only place I really

want it to be one school and there would

be points where I couldn’t go to school

because I had to go to court or

something it’s a I’ve to go to court or

maybe the doctor to get checked out or

something like that and all I wanted to

do was go to school I have a good time

with my friends and see my friends and

my favorite teachers okay okay that’s

interesting so again something I just

want to pick out there the thing that

keeps you rooted now and so focused in

terms of achieving your goals was

missing during those four years yeah and

this is an important thing so I always

when I work with people I try and get

them to have some sort of good routine

ie through discipline so for example

working out staying hydrated being

grateful and I think these things

although they might seem tedious at

first if you let them slip by the

wayside life can kind of become a bit

chaotic and I know myself especially

when I’m up in the morning I try and get

these small wins in first thing in the

morning and that certainly helps me

I suppose tackle the day and I think

you’ve probably noticed that Nabal with

yourself as well yeah okay so just going

back to the whole 14 to 17 year old

common I graduated looking at where you

are now what would you tell a child who

may feel different who may recognize

that they’re from or they’ve had to go

into kinship or foster care maybe

struggling through that level of

adversity would you give them any sort

of advice or is there anything that you

think you could perhaps recommend to

them so they don’t really lose focus and

go down the path I suppose 97% of the

other people do where they kind of fall

back into the system again yes I

definitely have advice when you when you

start to feel yourself like becoming

somebody who you know you’re not that’s

when you got to step in and you got to

say you know what this is

me this is not who I am this is not how

I act and you have to really just catch

yourself you have to you have to be able

to take notice when you’re changing and

from that point that’s when you need to

start talking to yourself that’s what

you need to start writing your goals

that’s when you need to start planning

things and once you start planning and

once you start talking to yourself and

once you start talking to other people

as well that’s when things are gonna

change you’re gonna want to set goals

you’re gonna want to have hope you’re

gonna want to think long term one thing

that really helped me was thinking long

term I knew that I wanted to get to

Spelman and for for a few years I didn’t

lose sight of stomach but once I

realized Spelman is where I want to be

and I know Stormin is right where I want

to be that’s when I was able to get the

help I needed us and I was able to talk

to people and do exactly what I needed

to do to get this film and despite like

big years I’ve struggled in the years

that I didn’t really have what it what

it took to get me to spell it I mean you

also gotta just be prepared because it’s

very difficult it’s difficult because it

seems like you’re all alone it seems

like you’re not you don’t have anyone in

your corner you don’t know what’s going

on you don’t know what’s coming next but

you always have to have hope and you

have to have faith you have to doesn’t

matter which God and pray to you have to

have faith in you have to try to

establish a relationship one thing that

I can say is I didn’t really have a

relationship with God that day I really

didn’t get such a strong relationship

with God until I got to college that’s

amazing that’s erm that’s really useful

thank you for sharing that so there’s a

couple of things I’ve just taken from

that is the first one is obviously

having hope or faith and I think you hit

the nail on the head there it doesn’t

matter what God you believe in I think

just having faith in a better future in

a better circumstance or not an outcome

somewhere in the distant future is going

to keep you inspired and I think you

touched on it earlier as I when you said

Tiana this is bigger than you and I

think when you have a purpose that’s

maybe slightly bigger than yourself that

can keep you going as well definitely

that’s really really important but

another thing you touched on there and I

suppose I can relate to it to some

degree is when you said

feeling of being alone and I can relate

to children in the care system

especially within the UK because I feel

that do you feel that they’re alone

sometimes and there might not

necessarily have that support network

and I assumed you obviously had a very

good network around you I know you said

you had good social workers you had a

life coach how was your friends or your

extended family within that time as oh

did you have a good community there as

well who served as my foster mom through

kinship care I had a great relationship

with her and with my grandmother and I

maintain the relationship my sister um

my extended family they didn’t really

know too much about what was going on so

I did rely on my relationship with the

family that I had in New York and I rely

on the relationship with my therapist as

well you’re probably fortunate that you

had that relationship there because your

network can determine your situation so

much if you’ve got a bad Network then

obviously you’re almost destined for

failure I suppose yes yes okay so where

you are right now things are obviously

going the way that you wanted to you had

this dream from a seven-year-old that

you want to go to Spelman you had a

little bit of a wobble in between but

where you are right now you’ve picked

yourself back up you’re now focused you

found God you find this new sense of

belief what in this current moment now

scares you I’m graduating in 33 days and

what scares me is that I won’t be ready

I’m not prepared to go into this world

and live as an adult and handle

everything that comes along with being

an adult that’s that’s one of my biggest

fears right now I’m kind of I’ve been on

this campus for four years I’m kind of

scared of course no man has prepared me

for everything and they’ve given me the

lessons that I need to go anywhere but

I’m still afraid of what’s waiting for

me outside of these gates beyond filming

and ex-kgb cable of course I plan for

this is my I’m trying to get out of here

I gotta graduate but there’s next year

if something that’s so unknown I’ve been

in school my entire life

and I’m leaving and starting somewhere

new I’m sorry fries I’m just I’m cutting

that that’s my favorite I’m gonna fail

I’ve been waiting so long to get here

and I’m gonna leave the gates yeah

that’s so interesting that you say that

because here you are having this dream

as a seven year old you know literally

on the cusp of you’ve achieved it you’ve

done it now all of a sudden you’ve got

this new sense of fear and I suppose one

that shows your vulnerability which i

think is it’s nice that you’re you’re

displaying that because I think whatever

transition you go through in life it’s

an element of growth and you can never

really be ready for growth so it is

daunting whether it’s getting married

whether it’s having a child or whatever

that particular circumstances but from

this very very short encounter with

yourself let me tell you something you

are a hell of a lot more intelligent

than I am I seem to do okay after I

graduated I went to university twice so

I went back to study my Social Work

masters again at transitions so your

emotional intelligence is fantastic I

think also you have an advantage and you

should always remember this is that the

life lessons that you’ve been through

even during that short period of time

from 14 to 17 to 21 it’s built a level

of resilience in you that you may not

know that you have yet but I am

confident that if you continue your

faith in God and your spirituality and

you keep having these goals to produce

these incredible hotels in Trinidad you

will be absolutely fine you’ve got

nothing to be afraid of you’re very very

intelligent thank you so much that means

so much hopefully in about six months

time I want to get a message from you

whether it’s on Twitter or Instagram and

just tell me how easy is because I’m

sure you’re gonna fly wherever you go

absolutely I’m looking forward to

hopefully we maybe get you back on as

well just to kind of see the word that

you’re doing as well so that would be

fantastic as well absolutely so I

suppose we kind of touched on this next

part a little bit I’m always fascinated

by the way people think and one of the

things with myself is I have this crazy

thing where I motivate myself by

thinking about the worst things that can

ever happen

so I call it morbid nightmares and I

will wake up in the morning and I would

think of like

the worst thing that could possibly

happen and what that does is it kind of

shifts my ass into gear to go out there

and seize the day and really try and

make a difference try and help as many

people as I possibly can and really try

and leave nothing to chance

so that’s just my kind of thing that

keeps me motivated what kind of things

in this current moment right now keep

you motivated to go out there and build

these hotels and then change the world

I’m not gonna get employment after

college so maybe I should get up so I

kind of use days where I’m kind of

slacking I don’t know I gotta go to this

class because if you don’t go to this

class then you’re going to fail and if

you fail then you can’t graduate if you

don’t graduate you’re letting your old

family down if you let your family know

you’re still gonna be at Spelman for

another semester and somebody has to pay

for Spelman for another semester which

is not gonna it’s not gonna fly with

anybody so I’m not yelling me didn’t get

out of bed her name is MIA okay and

she’s actually so when I was in kinship

care she was in the house as well she’s

my daughter okay um and she’s really

someone that keeps me going because

she’s she looks up to me and she’s one

of my favorite people in the world I

mean and I’m I’m really excited cuz she

actually let me want to spell me but I

see you know this shot is so bright and

I know that she looks up to me I know

this child is so destined for great news

my under sisters she’s eight yeah it’s

not setting you of course Oh

but my younger cousin is 17 and I got I

want to be there for her and I want her

to continue to look up to me I want her

to see me and say you know what that’s

Fiamma this is my family I wanted to go

beyond what I’m doing I want her to be

better than me stronger than me and and

I just love her so much I just love that

so I’ve got three points I want to touch

on just from your answer there so the

first one is it’s nice to know I’m not

the only person thinking of morbid

nightmares in the morning so there’s you

and me there so that was fantastic

because it does really help I mean I

suppose some people have a

fight-or-flight response and knowing

your personality is probably similar to

mine that we have all these kind of

morbid nightmares or thoughts and then

all of a sudden we fight it as opposed

to running away from it so I think

depending on your personality I choose

which way to go the second thing is I’m

sure Mia is so proud of you and I’m sure

you’re a great great role model to her

so you should be very proud of yourself

that you have someone who looks up to

you and I’m sure you’re doing an

incredible job with that the last thing

that I really love that you said is

there’s a brilliant quote and the quote

says they want you to do good but never

as good as them right and I I get that

because I see it so often within like

the industry and I suppose when you go

into corporate world or whatever you do

in life you’re gonna you’re gonna see

people who will help you up and in the

moment they might see you surpassing

them they will automatically either

switch off or their will their won’t

help you as much if that makes sense and

it’s beautiful thing that you want Mir

to be stronger than you to be better

than you because that’s exactly how I am

with my siblings so my siblings are all

younger than me and my dream in life is

for them to have it all figured out by

the time they hit my age today and I

wanted more to be financially more

secure I wanted to be physically better

mentally better so it’s just lovely to

hear somebody say that and hopefully if

Mia hears this back as well I sure know

how important she is to you as well yeah

absolutely yeah just don’t start crying

I can imagine you getting emotional

about that’s lovely

what we actually do now is we go into a

little bit of a fun part of this show so

if you’re ready I’m gonna literally jump

straight into that we’re gonna start in

three two one

what did you eat for breakfast water is

that it okay sorry doc the ability to

fly or be invisible your favorite

subject at school money your fame play

your proudest moment your favorite food

prayer words Netflix or YouTube Netflix

your number-one goal this year

favorite TV show ever would you rather

know how you would die or when you were

dying how your favorite hobby love or

money love books or movies if you could

sit with one person in the world for an

hour who would it be your worst fear as

a child being forgotten words what is

your biggest addiction my phone your

favorite place in the world that’s

outside speak or languages will be able

to speak to animals if you could abolish

one thing in the world what would it be

and finally your favorite song ever um

it’s called it’s supposed to be a

favorite song okay okay I’ve not heard

that one but I’ve just written it down

so I check it out afterwards alright

I’ll check it out anyway okay brilliant

so back to the interview part we’ve got

two more questions I would really want

to ask you so knowing exactly what you

know now Tiana with all the knowledge

and all the wisdom that you’ve acquired

in your short 21 years on this earth if

you could go back to a time let’s use 14

as an example where things had just

started to take a turn probably for the

worst knowing what you know now and you

could whisper something to a younger

Tiana at 14 years old what would you say

I would tell her to keep fighting keep

fighting keep trying and I gave up for a

period of time so I would stress don’t

give up just keep going you know as

as instead of finding Nemo just keep

swimming just keep swimming and I would

I would tell me that I’ll say it’s all

worth it it all works out and you just

have to keep going and keep pushing keep

striving I love it just keeps him in

Nemo style I love it okay brilliant

suddenly that actually brings us to the

last question and the last question I’ll

again always ask my guess is if in 150

years time science fails to save us all

and all that is left is a book and this

book is about Tiana and it’s about your

life and everything that you’ve achieved

all the wonderful hotels and everything

amazing that you’ve done in the world

firstly what would the title of the book

say and then secondly if the person was

to turn over to the back what would it

tell us about you I think the title

would be on the other side of adversity

or life not according to plan and the

blurb on the bag would kind of they

would talk about it would talk about my

greatness as opposed to like everything

that I’ve been through my struggle would

be such a small portion maybe two

sentences but I really want my story to

focus on not what what I was able to

accomplish and who I was able to help

and how my plan my businesses were able

to give back and create something in

various communities and multiple

communities across America I don’t want

it to be this girl was in foster care

and she made it out and now this is what

she did I wanted to be Tiana bond will

help people Tiana bar wolf came that she

came back she gave back and she was she

was there hmm I don’t want my story and

foster care to be the main focus in my

life I just love that I think that’s so

so powerful and I think so many kids

from foster care or people that have

been through so much adversity probably

want the same thing so thank you for

sharing that actually because that’s

what I think the world should have more

of but I think we’re also in a society

where if you say TR and Obama came from

foster care and achieve this it kind of

sells more papers it gets more retweets

it gets more teaching

well I think is brilliant because just

thinking about this episode that we’ve

just recorded now it’s been a very happy

inspiring episode and I’m very grateful

for you taking that approach as well and

steering the episode that way as opposed

to we could sit here we could cry about

the year of what it was like going into

kinship care for example but instead

what you said is this was a wobble in my

life you reflected on it you realized

this was the person that you wanted to

become the person that Tiana was meant

to become is kind of strive and do so

many more amazing things and you managed

to change that you change your habits

you went to university you’re now

graduating and I just think I stand here

and I mean to be honest we’re complete

strangers but I’m just very very proud

of how far you’ve come and once again I

think you’re gonna do amazing things

thank you for sharing your story thank

you thank you so much for reaching out

thank you for giving me the opportunity

to come on podcasting and talk and you

know potentially touch so many people

who are in a place where I was

absolutely I think we should all

actually take one great lesson from what

you’ve just said is that we shouldn’t

just look at people for their

circumstances or how they’re positioned

in a family we should rather look at

their greatness that they already have

within them and I and I’ve tried to do

this with my siblings as well because

they all have their own unique skills

and like talents and I think you’ve

shared a very very valuable lesson there

so before I close the show Tiana what I

want to do is give people an opportunity

to maybe interact with you who have

followed this story who resonate with

your story to maybe follow you on

Instagram Twitter or whatever other

social media platforms that you use so

if you wouldn’t mind could you please

share some of your platforms yes so my

Instagram is underscore CIA and a K V

underscore and my my Twitter underscore

TK V in Gigi okay fantastic what I will

do is actually take the exact addresses

and I’ll put them into the show notes as

well so people can literally from the

episode click it and then follow you and

hopefully engage

via that I think also if you wouldn’t

mind as well let’s keep in touch because

if it’s anything to do with real estate

I’m always interested in perhaps

investing or being a part of it and

again if there’s any sort of social

enterprises or anything you want to do

socially I’d always try and find time to

try and make an impact on that as well

so certainly please do you keep in touch

I will I will definitely keep in touch

with you an amazing yeah yeah I thought

I always like to try and mix it up but

honestly I just want to say once again

thank you to you I want to also thank

the listeners at home thanks for

listening thank you and remember this

podcast is absolutely free so all we ask

in return is for you to share this with

a friend and drop us a five star review

over on iTunes have an awesome day

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