Dr. Chaka Felder-McEntire,
Executive Director for Higher Heights

One of the most important things I did to help me get to where I am today is to go to college. I know that college isn’t for everyone, but for me it is where I learned the most about myself. I had to learn how to meet new people on my own, communicate with my professors, join clubs and organizations that I had never heard of before. It’s where I found my voice, my purpose and my truth.

With regards to what drove me to pursue a career in STEM, I actually wanted to be an Interior Designer when I was younger. When I went to college, I began to volunteer with different organizations and learned that I had a gift working with young people, specifically high school students. But I also had an entrepreneurial spirit. So I majored in Business with a dual minor in Economics and African American Studies. I went on to graduate school and it was at Canisius College where I was able to pursue both passions: a Master’s in Organizational Development and Communications and then another Master’s in Counseling and Human Services. It was the best of both worlds and I was very happy and excited. It all began to click for me.

The advice I would give my younger self when considering the field of education and entrepreneurship is “believe in your dream. Everything that you are dreaming and writing down will come true. Have faith!”

I have had to overcome some challenges in pursuit of my Education speciality. Racism exists in all aspects of the world. But I never thought I would experience as an educator from other educators. Stay true to yourself. Remain humble and always have a plan of action.

My guiding principle is Laugh, Love, Lift!

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