We had the good fortune of connecting with Priscilla Wachira and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Priscilla, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from Nyahururu, Kenya! Yep, I am proudly repping the “#254” but trust me, that was not an easy statement to make if I was asked 5 years ago. You see, the journey to becoming the woman I am today was quite the rocky one! Might I even add, confusing as well. I moved to the states at the age of five and what I knew of Kenya faded away faster than those memories of my siblings. It was that long and arduous settling down process, that made me resent them for seeming so “okay” with everything and being close in age to relate with one another while navigating this new home.

Yet, I quickly realized the only way to settle in with them, myself, and this new society, was to join them and not separate myself. As an African, black, immigrant, AKORINO woman, the roles were many and not just from societies standpoint, but personally & intrinsically as well. Expected to be a good student, speak perfect English, and respect everyone while trying to understand their definition of what respect was or even communicating my needs or hesitancies properly became a tiring task itself.

So no, it wasn’t always easy being proudly Kenyan, Akorino, or even black but today in this space mentally, emotionally & spiritually, I’ve come to own who I am FIERCELY! Now I can look back wholeheartedly and base all my successes to the background God chose for me to be raised in. As an Akorino woman living in the United States – I used to view my turban as deterrence to my achievements…I despised being “different”…

Instead, what I viewed as an unnecessary
burden, was the main item God Himself orchestrated to propel me into greatness! In my indifference, God saw opportunity & favor. He saw a testimony where I saw failure.

So, who I am today is the result of self-acceptance and embracing my culture & heritage deeply! Not just in word but in deeds. It hasn’t been easy; mistakes have been made but through them I have learned to dig my heels deeper into the soil that made me whom I am – my grounding point – My roots – My family!

“I am what I am, because WE are!” – John Mbiti

To my family, I say thank you for relentlessly speaking life to me, pulling me back when I tried to detach out of fear, and reminding me WHO & WHOSE I am!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Community Health Worker in the field of Public-Health. Community engagement & outreach is my passion! Likewise, health equity as it relates to women’s health issues. Couple that with my professional licensure in clinical mental health and I am forever skyrocketing to the moon with initiatives, presentations, and projects to improve health all around: physically – emotionally- Spiritually- etc.

My career journey has definitely been what the monopoly or life games describe! Phew! However, when I reflect back, each winding and off- beaten path was worth it! Likewise, I never expected to be in such a field where I possessed the least educational or field experience whatsoever. Contrary to what others may perceive as the “right” fit when considering individuals for hire, I am glad my hiring managers sought someone outside the box!

Therefore, the main lesson I’ve learned throughout my career journey is to NOT to be afraid to do it differently. Most projects have a certain blueprint to them and yes, it’s helpful to know how things were done before. Yet, my confidence in the approach of “remixing” the ingredients to produce a different outcome has increased over the years.

As a result, I’ve been supported by many superiors for the creative pursuit of making community engagement impactful. For me, I see it like this: Anyone can Google public health, women’s health or mental health and leave with more than enough information than they needed.

Although, there is an even greater impact when that same information is delivered from a personal, and motivating place. A place that says: I SEE you & and I am here to listen, engage and empower you to take charge of your health! Like Dr. Brene Brown says: “Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

In sum, connecting with the people we serve is far greater than just getting the job “done”. Therefore, I encourage others to do the same in their field of choice. Don’t be afraid to push the limits respectfully, ask questions and assess the problem. From there, you can clearly define your WHY without hesitancy! When you know your why, you can better understand your how!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Okay so it’s Friday afternoon- welcome to the DFW Metropolitan

We would go straight to Fuel City and grab some tacos & elote, then head to the Museum of Modern Art!
Dinner at the Happiest Hour & Catch a Mavericks game to end the night!

Saturday – Brunch at Stirr – Explore Bishop Arts District – farmers market if we catch it on time 😅 – Dinner at African Fusion is a MUST or at least at some point in the schedule.

Sunday – Church ha! Dad is the pastor, whoop! – Lunch *Texas BBQ* – Hard 8 followed by a visit to Grandscape.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank my family & close friends (they know themselves ha!) for keeping me grounded & focused on my goals. For their prayers and endless support! God bless you!

Mom & Dad – I LOVE YOU. Arriving to the states with just four suitcases, you have been the example of what it means to DREAM & DREAM AGAIN!

To my publisher Roy K. – Thank you for embarking on this Journey to authorship with me, who knew there was this much of a story to tell?! Thank you for bringing this to life with me. God bless you!

My book was awarded book of the year among the young adults category (20-35yrs) from the African Christian Authors Book Award nomination. 

Website: https://amzn.to/3rVUtyx

Instagram: pris_wambui

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pwachira

Facebook: Wambui Pris

Image Credits
Cecilie Olaussen Photography The Legend Films. Inc Photography- George Omwoyo, Kendall Nicole Studios, Jace Pando

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.