Meet Our Professional Homegirl of the Week: Keiosha Alexander
1. Social Handles
2. What do you do?
I attended law school at the College of Law at Loyola University New Orleans which led me to current position with the United States Federal Government. On the day to day, I work with the Freedom of Information Act. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives the public the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Some of the duties my position entails includes reviewing and analyzing FOIA/Privacy Act requests while exercising discretion and judgment in the application of laws, regulations, and agency practices related to the FOIA/Privacy Act; researching case law, analyzing a variety of records and ensuring that the release and disclosure of responsive documents adhere to applicable exemptions and/or exclusions. I also liaison with offices within the organization to provide advice and guidance on FOIA/Privacy Act matters to facilitate responses to requesters. I also have a YouTube channel and a blog where I express myself creatively and where I’m able to be the purest form of myself.
3. What motivates you?
“The Struggle” is what motivates me. I have not always been a private school educated law graduate who now works in the “mecca,” for professionals (Washington, DC). I was once a kid who grew up in the inner city who knows all too well the perils and struggles of black AND brown people growing up in the “hood.” I’ve witnessed many companions become statistics and I’ve fought hard to become the person that I and many of my companions desperately needed to see growing up. It breaks my heart to witness the disparities and to see the same cycles of the “black family” continue. And so my motivation has been to become everything positive thing that I believe our people need to see and impart some of that “light” to the people who need it most.
4. How do you balance between your career, side hustles, and your social life?
I can’t honestly say that I’ve found an actual balance. There are times when I bring work home, there are times when I’m working on my blog at work. There are times when I’m out at social events where I’m either replying to comments on YouTube or getting inspiration for videos or blog posts and writing them down in my journal that I carry with me everywhere I go. I also work out a lot because a hobby of mine is triathlons (where competitors swim, bike, and run in the same sporting event) so I am CONSTANTLY on the go. I think the key for me has been integration. The act of integrating combines, merges, fuses, or blends one thing with another so those two things become whole. And that is essentially what I have done with my professional life, social life, and my “side hustles.” At work, I am constantly communicating and presenting myself and my agency in a manner that conveys information in the manner most pleasing to the agency and the general public. As an example, the same goes for YouTube when I am writing, producing, shooting, and editing content for my channel. I am constantly communicating and presenting myself in a manner that conveys information in the manner most pleasing to me and my YouTube audience. So, to sum things up, I don’t really see my professional, social, and side hustles lives as separate. I see them as sums of a whole where each slice of the pie has an integrated role in moving my life forward.
5. What does Professional Homegirl means to you?
When I picture The Professional Homegirl in my head, I see someone who is able to successfully navigate the terrain of being who she needs to be to be successful while also still remaining true to who she is. Speaking personally, while I am able to sit in meetings with Directors and touch elbows with Executives, I am also able to code switch in the blink of an eye or in the same sentence and spit every word to Bodak Yellow. It’s about being who you are authentically while also being able to successfully do whatever that needs to be done to further and promote your professional development.
6.What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue their dreams?
I would say go for it. There’s no time like the present. Be unafraid to spread your wings and fly. I think a lot of times people are scared of the journey and scared of the struggle, but ironically, the beauty of what one becomes is found in the struggle.