PAULEANNA REID - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
BIO: Pauleanna Reid is a nationally published journalist, motivational speaker, celebrity fashion stylist and mentor. Through a whirlwind of inspirational lectures, round table discussions and media appearances (Rogers Television, MTV Canada, Global Television), she positively influences, challenges and reconnects youth with their passions.
Tell us a little bit about yourself? I am able to use incredible wit and candor to empower women & girls. I also provide the necessary tools to help my audience prioritize their lives and execute personal growth and leadership skills. Having overcome my own personal and professional obstacles, my powerful story-telling encourages this generation to face their challenges and conquer them. I envision a world where all women are given the opportunity, not only to dream bigger dreams, but to create and shape the world they have always desired.
My career as a professional writer has opened doors to a wide range of subject matter such as: business & finance, health, female empowerment, fashion & music, lifestyle, travel, politics and world issues. My self-taught abilities have provided me with the platform to regularly produce news reports inside the pages of the National Post, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and the Vancouver Sun for an audience of several hundred thousand readers across the country. Past interviews include: Sarah McLachlan, Olivia Newton-John, Tonya Lee Williams, Dr. Mehmet and Lisa Oz, Jillian Michaels, Rick Mercer, Brent Butt and more.
I have an extensive athletic background in competitive swimming and soccer. Currently, my hobbies include: boxing, learning foreign languages, reading and dancing. Although I have achieved a lot of success, I still continue to dream big. My goals include: extending my work into international projects, gracing the prestigious TEDx stage and making a splash as a first-time author with a position on the New York Times best sellers list. I am savvy, successful and a self-taught renaissance woman who breathes life into her passions every day. Not only do I illustrate versatility but prove that the secret to my success is in my ability to give more than what I take from this world.
What many people may not know about you? What many people may not know about me is that I am a tomboy at heart. Don’t let the glamorous looks fool you, I love to get down and dirty. I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years and I played soccer for 6 years as well. I was a high-level performer who was taught not to quit even when it hurts.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated? I am driven by a purpose. My mission and vision is to help others see beyond the limits of their circumstances. During my adolescent years, I faced many obstacles such as: bullying, depression and anxiety, and lack of support from friends and family. All of which fueled my decision to drop out of college during my final year to pursue my dreams of becoming an entrepreneur even when no one believed I had the capacity to do so. I do not settle for mediocrity because I believe I deserve a life far more exciting, in fact everyone does.
My motivation stems from my personal challenges growing up and knowing that I never want to experience such a low point in my life ever again. I have faith in God and faith in myself that I can bounce back from any setback in the future. I owe it to myself to get up and try again every time someone or something knocks me down. My desire is to set an example to younger generations and inspire them to tap into their potential and pursue their dreams no matter what roadblocks are in their way.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect? I’ve always been a big dreamer. When I was bullied as a teen I wrote in a journal every day which included letters, pictures and memorabilia that inspired me and gave me a sense of hope that one day I would live in the world I desired. As I got older and approached college, my parents had different plans for me and voiced their opinion that they wanted me to take business administration because it was a safe career. Meanwhile, I wanted to pursue a career in writing because it had been therapeutic for me for so many years. With incredible regret, I cowardly followed my parent’s advice only to fall deep into depression and allowed my symptoms to grab hold of my life. I often stayed in bed for days; shut myself off from friends and family and would cut class because it was not an environment where I felt inspired. As a result, my grades slipped and I continued feeling dreadful. During exam week of my second year in college I remember telling myself that I was no longer going to be a victim and I made the choice to take matters into my own hands. After all, it was my life and my dreams were worth it. I ripped up my exam paper and walked out of the classroom. To be more accurate, I actually ran. It was a freeing experience but moments later, I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to turn. A few weeks prior I had watched the Oprah Winfrey Show about dream boards also known as vision boards, so naturally it was the next step in my exit strategy leaving college. Amongst many goals, I wrote down that I wanted to attract a mentor. Several months later, two female mentors showed up in my life and changed it forever.
Through heart, hard work and building healthy relationships I learned the power of hard work and commitment. I gained the strength to tap into my potential and I received a lot of guidance from people who had already experienced many of the same circumstances. Having mentors allowed me to follow in their footsteps and on the same note, my mentors also opened many doors which led to my success as an entrepreneur. It’s not what you know; it’s who you know. I did not go to school for what I do, but I do it very well. And that confidence is what pushed my career and dreams into reality. Today, I have a successful personal brand and I live and breathe my passions daily.
My future goals include: extending my work into international projects, gracing the prestigious TEDx stage and making a splash as a first-time author with a position on the New York Times best sellers list.
What would you like to be remembered for? I want to be remembered for giving more than I what I take from this world.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure? I am always trying to find new ways to balance work and life. I don’t think anyone knows the formula to this equation. For me, it’s important that I keep an organized schedule. Everything gets penciled into my agenda, both work and play time. But then again at times, I toss the agenda and just go where the wind takes me depending on my mood. Bottom line, life is meant to be enjoyed. So balance is key regardless of how you achieve it.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie? My favorite books include: PLATFORM by Michael Hyatt, No Disrespect by Sistah Soujah and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. My favorite movies include: Inception and Django. My favorite genres of music include all genres. I find inspiration in everything.
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada? My ethnicity is Jamaican and Trinidadian. I was raised in a two parent home and had a very great upbringing. However, as a black person in Canada, growing up I was often (and still am) labeled as white washed, an Oreo (black on the outside, white on the inside) and accused of thinking I was better than, because I have a wide vocabulary and grew up with certain privileges. Obviously, this is not true. But you can’t help what people say about you. It was very hurtful and I’m always disgusted when people make these comments.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc? Yes, I do believe there are opportunities for Blacks in Canada. Successful individuals such as: Beyonce, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey create an opportunity even when it doesn’t seem to be available. They held onto faith and continue fighting hard for what they believe in. This is a page we can take from their book and use it in our own lives.
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models? Tonya Lee Williams is pretty awesome. I have met her numerous times and I have interviewed her for my website too. She is the founder of the Reel World Film Festival and she is a Canadian actress of Jamaican descent. She is best known for her role as Dr. Olivia Barber Winters on the American soap opera The Young and the Restless. She is humble and gives back to the community in numerous ways.
Another name that comes to mind is Wesley Williams, better known as Maestro Fresh-Wes. He is a Canadian rapper, record producer, and actor. Most people recognize him as the “Godfather of Canadian Hip Hop” because of his pioneering status and outstanding achievements.
Should or do Blacks support black music, events and businesses? Blacks should absolutely support one another whether it’s music, events or business. Do we? Not all the time. I think we can definitely do a better job. We have to if we want to evolve both personally and professionally.
What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada? To be honest, I lack full knowledge about Black History in Canada. Growing up I don’t recall many outlets within my school system which offered an educational platform. But as an adult, I take responsibility for my unawareness and recently have started to study the pioneers who have made way for my generation. I find it quite interesting and hope that my generation also takes an active role in learning more about Black History instead of relying on others to provide it for them.
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