Graduation Day!

She master’d that!

Yesterday, I officially received my Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University (PSU). My heart is filled with so much joy. For many reasons and most importantly, I am DONE!

Growing up, I knew I was going to be successful. I never knew how I was going to do that. God really showed up and out!!! *plays Started From the Bottom by Drake.*

Our environments can be detrimental to our futures. I know that firsthand. I grew up in the hoods with addicts, on food stamps, and wearing raggedy clothes. AND look at me now. *plays I Made It by Fantasia* BLESSED! 

YOU can make it with dedication, consistency, and mentors! This degree is for every addict who watched over me. My church Mamas, who showed me how real God was and is. My mentors and teachers, who saw the light in me when I didn’t see it in myself! I was bad as hell and they continued to love me. They knew I would be where I am today. My sister – we saw some wild stuff together and made it out. My mother. The BADDIE of the BADDIES! Thank you for taking me in. The best mom ever. And of course, Daisy (who is pictured on the bottom right). She is proudly cheering her mama on! Honey, thanks for your patience as Mommy got her degree. Soon, I will buy you that house with the big backyard and all of the toys. Had to stop the tears. I’m blessed.

You may be wondering what’s next? My long term career goal is to develop mixed use mixed income housing. Housing for individuals and families who can only afford $100 or less for rent and those who can afford market rate. Housing is a human right! In the meantime, I have decided to return to PSU for my Master’s in Real Estate Development. Yer probably thinking “WHAAAAT?” Me too. I would love to jump into the field and I want to learn more. Plus, Covid-19 is real and many development firms/positions are on standby. Also, I will be finished in a year. So, why not?

Congrats to every graduate. I hope you are proud of yourself. Also, I am very sorry you did not have an in person graduation.

Onward and upward!


6 thoughts on “Graduation Day!”

  1. Congratulations Janine. Great to see you bounding from one big goal on to the next. Best wishes. Taizoon Doctor


  2. Like I said a few posts ago, I learn something new about you everytime I read your posts. I went through the addict life for 20 years. I got out to help homeless folks get off the street & into housing. Glad you’re going to work on affordable housing because there is no such thing anymore. Even buildings like Magnolia 1 & 2 on Dr. King’s St are very expensive if your’e on SSI or SSD. It’s just another trap. Congratulations. Portland is lucky to have you in their corner.


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