In today’s episode, our guests are Justin Black and Alexis Black. Justin Black founded Rising Over Societal Expectations (ROSE) Empowerment Group to close the knowledge gap for today’s generation of Black and Brown young adults after his experiences as a Black male in the foster care system. Alexis Black is a foster care graduate. She created The Scholarship Specialist and wrote The Scholarship Roadmap book and workbook and an online tutorial to help students graduate from college debt-free. She is now a foster care volunteer and works as a database reviewer for the National Youth and Transition Database. Today, they will share with us what they have gone through in foster care.
[7:45] Why should we listen to you?
They should listen to us because everybody has a perspective of the ordinary. And everybody’s normal is entirely different.
[9:35] What were your experiences like growing in foster care?
How we laid out the book was we each wrote our alternating perspectives because even though we are together, we are very much individual people with dreams, goals, and pains. I grew up in an emotionally abusive and toxic environment until I met Justin. That’s how our story intertwines together the past that we once experienced when we met in college.
[21:00] What was the vision for the book?
We originally started the book as more of a selfish project of getting closer together before getting married because the divorce rate is exceptionally high. We’re an interracial couple, which makes it more difficult. It was more of a way of getting closer together and making sure that we have everything out there on the table and we’re completely vulnerable and open with each other. And that’s how we love each other through that process.
[25:39] Do you think your past makes it easier to step into certain situations?
Absolutely. I always tell people that our past in foster care prepared us to be entrepreneurs. Being a foster parent, you develop the skills of being resilient, flexible, and resourceful. And that’s just basic coping mechanisms and survival mode. Having faith in the vision and sees the end goal keeps me going. Of course, having my partner has always encouraged me.
[32:02] What promise did God make to the world when He created you?
God uses us as messengers, and he gives us promising talents and abilities to solve the problems that the world has created. He gives us his skills and abilities to go into the world and spread His words, His love, and His truth. If we continue to submit ourselves to God and be obedient, then we have the power to solve the issues in His world.
[22:10-22:13] “Sharing your story gives other people the courage to share theirs.”
[33:10-33:12] “You have the power to redefine what has been normal to you.”