Growing up across the street from one another, Suzette Ikejiani and Tristin Brown remained close through middle and high school. Despite going to college in separate cities and settling into professional school in different states, they’ve continued to encourage each other in their pursuits. Now in their early 20s, a long way from New Renaissance Middle School, they have reached heights higher than anyone could’ve imagined. The two have long had aspirations to become a doctor and lawyer, but faced countless obstacles to seeing the manifestation of their dreams to fruition. They were told on numerous occasions that their desired paths were unattainable – whether it was because they didn’t fit “Ivy League” standards or simply because they were “too rough around the edges”. Discouraged and disheartened, they both seriously considered not applying to law and medical school. Now a year out from receiving their Bachelor’s degrees, Suzette is finishing up her first year at Baylor College of Medicine and Tristin will be starting at Georgetown University Law Center this fall.
After reflecting on their own experiences and hearing similar stories from their peers, Tristin and Suzette recently teamed up to launch their blog MD & Esquire, recognizing the need for a platform that catered specifically to minority women who are pursuing advanced degrees and careers in the professional realm. MDAndEsquire.org equips women of color with the tools and support necessary to overcome the obstacles they may face and motivates them to be of service to the Black community, both through and beyond their professions of choice.