WHO TO WATCH: Myeshia Carter

MYESHIA CARTER IS A 22-YEAR-old native of Baton Rouge. She grew up in a single parent home with seven siblings, where she was number six of her mother’s eight children.

Growing up, Carter’s family was not always financially stable as they had to live on Section 8 Housing and other forms of government assistance for the majority of their lives.

Carter did not come from a strong educational background neither her mother nor her six older siblings finished high school. Noticing this constant cycle of school drop outs, her siblings becoming single parents at young ages, and living on government as- sistance, at age 14, Carter decided she would break that cycle.

She became the first of her sib- lings to attend high school. At Belaire High School, Carter was able to do extracurricular activities like play in the band and be on the slam poetry team. It is on the slam poetry team that she found an outlet, a way to let go of the pent up worries and anger about her home life.

Writing poetry became Carter’s refuge as she let the world know her story. She became one of the six slam poets from Baton Rouge to compete nationally at Brave New Voices for two years consecutively. Competing at Brave New Voices gave Carter a chance to leave Ba- ton Rouge and travel throughout the United States where she was introduced to so many different people.

That was the defining moment for her because she saw that there was a whole world out there waiting for her to explore and learn from. Travel- ing to these different places helped her to figure out that she wanted to leave Baton Rouge for college to learn more about the diverse world around her and find her place in it.

During her se- nior year of high school, she became a fellow of the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, where she was able to have men- tors to help her prepare for college and had access to resources she needed. With constant support from the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, her lifelong mentor Daniel Kahn, the poetry slam team and her peers, Carter became the first of her seven siblings to graduate high school in 2010. But gradu- ating high school was only the beginning as she had other ambitions and bigger milestones to complete.

Carter also became the first of her siblings to attend college, and to that, she attended one of the top Historically Black Colleges in America, Howard University, where she was an English major and business minor. At Howard, she pursued her dream of working in Corporate America as she spent some time at Google after her freshman year and also worked for PepsiCo Beverages Company as a sales intern her sophomore and junior years.

After being denied the full internship with Google in their sales department, Carter did not allow that to stop her from achieving her goal to work in Corporate America. She reached out to an organization in her network called INROADS. INROADS is a program that helps minority students get into Corporate America by partnering with different companies.

Through INROADS, Carter was afforded an interview with PepsiCo. Through each year in college and working for PepsiCo, she realized that it did not matter where she came from, that she did not have to be a product of her environment, and that she is limitless when it comes to defining success.

On May 10, Carter graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In July, she will take on her full time role as a sales associate at PepsiCo Beverages Company in New Orleans.

Graduating college has been one of the biggest accomplishments of her life as she looks back to where she was in the past to where she is now.

She is very humble that she had programs and peo- ple in her extended family network to motivate and push her. Her goal is to become CEO of a multibillion-dollar company and to be a great entrepreneur. She lives by the saying – “you are limitless for you are the only person who can keep you achieving greater heights.”

Carter is looking forward to a promising future as she has many more milestones to reach, and she will do so confidently.