Meet Black Girl Boss, Lydia Berkey, CEO of Adoptee to Adoption Worker. At a the young age of 23, Lydia is blazing her own path by creating support systems for transracial adoptees and their families (adoptees and families who don't share the same race). A transracial adoptee herself, this Pennsylvania resident works full time as a caseworker, AND offers mentorship for those who are navigating the transracial family space. Keep reading to learn more about Lydia.
Chelsea M: How did you get the concept for your business?
Lydia B: I myself am an adoptee. I understand the hardships that surround growing up being adopted, and the added complexities of being raised by white parents. I wished I knew more adoptees growing up, so I could have had someone who shared in my experiences. I wanted to create a platform to connect with other adoptees that could relate to growing up racially isolated, while also navigating the grief and loss that comes with adoption. I also wanted to use my platform to educate white adoptive parents that are currently raising adoptees.
CM: How does your business reflect your overall mission in life?
LB: I feel as though my mission in life is to serve through helping others. I decided in eight grade that I wanted to be a social worker, I liked that the core values of social work were empowering people, and advocating for social change. I went on to college where I studied social work, and we talked about discerning between calling and vocation. This strengthened my mission by feeling affirmed that this was not just my vocation, but my calling. Creating my platform has allowed me to be an advocate, broker, and facilitator outside of my regular 9-5 job.
CM: Who inspires you and why?
LB: I am inspired by black women, period! In college I connected with several black women that I viewed as mentors and sought out life advice from. The strength, resiliency, and all of their accomplishments made me want to match their drive, passion, and hardwork!
What keeps me going and what I am motivated by is God, my family, friends, and adoptees. I not only want to make the people closest to me proud, but I want to encourage other young BIPOCs to live out their truth, and lead by example.
CM: What does community mean to you?
LB: Having community is very important to me. My core community is my friends, the people I can be most vulnerable with, we rely on each other, love on each other, but also hold one another accountable. I have different communities for different dimensions of my identity, but they are equally as important in my personal, emotional, mental, and spiritual growth.
CM: How do you define success?
LB: I define success by accomplishing my life mission and making an impact, whether that is to one person or more than one person. It can be difficult while I am trying to develop my social media platform to not get wrapped in the amount of likes or followers I have, but I remind myself that reaching adoptees and their families was my intention behind developing my platform, and I am doing just that!
CM: What is one piece of advice you'd like to share with the Black Girl Boss Collective Community?
LB: One piece of advice I would give is to go for it! Whatever you feel your business is, sit down and make a plan, set a time frame, and stick to it! It takes time, dedication, and payments, but you will begin to see the fruits of your labor!
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