Becoming a timeless soul that few people are crafted of, Brooks Welch has honorably graduated at East Kentwood High School as class president, so that she can move onto the biggest plans only God has in store for her. Growing up and exploring her personality, her blackness, and her passions in life, she has the most suitable plan in motion for her future. That is on August 9th, 2017, by moving to Washington, D.C., for the purpose of attending Howard University. Pursuing a degree in television and film, Brooks wishes to combine her current social media platform, as well as her future degree, to create content that is saturating and mind catching. Content that will move, inspire, and spark discussion for change. Her vision for creating meaningful material is only guided by her inspirations, her past and present experiences with the society around her, and the people present in her life. Brooks discusses in-depth her plans for Howard, for the future, and for utilizing the environment around her to produce a positive impact. You will find that through the way she is committed to her goals, you'll soon know her name by one way or another.
So in less than a week, on August ninth, you're moving to Washington, DC, for the purpose of attending Howard University in the fall. How do you feel?
I would say I feel...excited. It's just a strange sense of calm, honestly, because all I know is everything that's supposed to happen, will just fall into place. So I'm not too apprehensive about it, I think It'll be fun!
Can you please explain a little bit about what Howard is, and what your passion is for attending this school?
So Howard is a historically black college/ university (HBCU is the acronym). I would say that my passion towards going to this school sort of stemmed from my mom, since she was an alumni there, but I've known for a long time that I've always wanted to go there. Right now my brother goes there, and he's actually going to be a senior when I'm a freshman in college. We literally went to middle school and high school together, and now we're going to college together. Originally I didn't want that, but then I just realized that Howard was THE college to be at, because I wanted to be immersed in the experience. Coming from Grand Rapids, Michigan, it's very white. I had gone to East Kentwood High School, and that was really multicultural, but I would still like to go somewhere where I'm the focus for once in my life! If you know me, I'm obsessed with "A Different World," which is a sitcom from the 80s/ 90s. The show is centered around a black college, and so it made me really want to go there even more, since I felt like there weren't a lot of black kids like me growing up around here. So when I do go to a black college, I won't have to worry about being the only black kid anymore. This now gives me the opportunity to find out who am I. Who am I LITERALLY besides skin color. Now I get to discover what I'm into, what's my passion, what I love, and just the things that make me human, instead of black, honestly! So yeah, that's why I wanted to go to HBCU.
How do you plan to utilize your education that you gain from Howard to make an impactful mark onto the world?
So Howard has a mission statement that discusses topics about being really worldwide, and being really international with how you think, and what you want to do in the world. People don't go to Howard just to get a degree and leave, it's very intentional when you want to go to Howard. You want to meet the right people, and you also want a network of people who are just as passionate about living as you are. I'm going to be studying television and film (media production,) in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications. I will be in the communications school learning television and film production. The reason why I chose something so broad, is because I had gone from broadcast journalism, to film and television, since broadcast journalism involves you basically learning how to be a news anchor. That's just like, no. I don't want to be paid to read someone else's 2 cents and have to give a shit about something I don't care about! I like interviewing people who are interesting. So with film, I could really take that anywhere. I could interview anybody, I could talk about anything I would like. If something is interesting to me, I could make something for it. I had created a whole Twitter thread about being black in suburbia, corresponding with the article I had wrote a while back... and to just see how it resonated with people. I want to capitalize off that, because I feel that's kind of an untapped community, an untapped type of blackness that people don't really talk about/ see often. I mean you have "Blackish" and stuff, but I think it'd be interesting to make something funny about it, or make something serious about it. I could make comedy, I could make documentaries, or I could make miniseries with this degree. I actually had a Youtube channel when I was younger, so it's kind of funny how my passion worked it's way up to become what it is now. Some people have these degrees and don't use them, but I know I'm going to use my degree, although it won't limit me. The fact that I'm getting a television and film degree is really cool, and one day I would love to have my own show, like a traveling show on Viceland. Viceland is the dream.
How does social media impact your influence you have on the community around you?
I think it will go hand in hand. Nowadays you basically need to have either a Twitter, Instagram, or something. I mean I only have 2,000 followers on Twitter, but I think it's cool how receptive people are and how they respond, because that's what it basically is, is communication. Some people have sooo many followers, but they won't talk to their followers, and their followers won't talk to them. It doesn't matter how many followers you have if that communication isn't going, because then you don't really have a following, you know? But I think that directly getting the answers that I want will definitely be supported by my following. I low-key did a case study with the suburbia thing, since I had created a Twitter thread, because I had tweeted "Quote tweet with your specific experience," then I would create polls and stuff like that, so that I could gain information. I also know how to talk to people that I want, because I know my audience. My audience is pretty much the people in my age range (maybe a little bit older and hip). But yeah, I just talk to them, and ASK the questions and get the answers that I need if I'm making something. Also, people like to know other people's personalities, and that's what makes people want to follow you more. If you have a fun personality, people will want to be your friend or hang out with you, and they're more likely to follow what you're doing and support you.
What is your plan after you graduate from college in the year of 2021?
My set plan is graduation, for sure. But I also want to really grind and meet as many creative people as I can. I want to keep creating and becoming open to new experiences. Having a set plan is very smart, and having commonsense is something that my parents want me TO have, because life is so unpredictable. But if we're discussing milestones that I want to hit, that I think I could hit, It'd be: college graduation, intern for Viceland, as well as having my whole freelance stuff here and there. There's no reason why you can't blow up on your own though through social media, people do that all the time. I know how to utilize social media for a taste master kind of thing. I want to be my own brand, honestly, I don't know if I want to be an entrepreneur per say. I definitely want to be apart of the collective, but when people will say "I want Brooks Welch," they'll have a certain thinking in mind. Like "I want her for THIS, because I know she will bring this to the table."
What would you like your impact to be on the world, socially and politically?
So worldwide impact...well, we'll get to that shortly! But for right now, I'm working on my impact for myself right now. But I just want people to know that they can be themselves, especially little black girls. That's probably my focus. I just want them to know that they can be themselves I've gone through so many phases trying to figure out how I can be black, and still like the things that I like. Just figuring out if the things that I like are okay and am I allowed to like it. Being unapologetic, carefree, all these different movements really helped me, and I'm glad I was able to be my age and go through them. I'm still young, but I've gone through all these movements where it's similar to the "Black is Beautiful" campaign in the 70's, which is really cool. I feel that right now it's more cool for black boys to be who they are, especially Tyler the Creator saying "Dye your hair blue I'll do it too." As far as being yourself, you have your Donald Glovers and Jaden Smiths for inspiration pertaining to black men. But there's not really a poster child for black girls, and that's what I want to be apart of. So that's probably what I want my impact to be, is just letting people know to just be you.
How does God play a role in your life, as well as being involved in your dreams and passions?
So I'm actually a pastor's kid, and it's definitely a pillar in my house to always keep God first. I don't agree with some of the ways my parents practice Christianity, and that's my thing, but I definitely want to remain a Christian, and find God and Jesus important. The relationship should be WAY more personal between you and him. It's really supposed to be similar to a relationship yo'd have with anybody, that you would have with any friend. When I'm in need of something I'll definitely at times be like "Yo Jesus hook my up!" I definitely have a relationship with God, but it's on my own terms, not someone else's. I would say that I'm more subscribed to spirituality than religion, anyways. And so yeah, that's me.