Name: Asha Brown
Profession: Retail Specialist
What area of the BX are you from?: Uptown
Asha is one of my longtime friends from middle school at M.S.180. Even from back in the day, she was always the life of the party and she is never afraid to keep it 100. She will have you dancing in no time. Her infectious energy and love for life make her a joy to be around.
Tell us about yourself:
I grew up in a Jamican household where my parents didn’t play any games and I believe that’s why I am the person I am today. I love to dance (nothing formal), much into Afrobeats and Soca music at the moment. I’m always down to have a good time as long as my ass isn’t broke because the struggle can be real at times.
What are your fondest memories of growing up in the Bronx?
My fondest memory growing up in the Bronx is taking the subway as a child to my doctor’s appointment on 96th street. At this point in my life, my parents didn’t drive much, so public transportation was for us. The best part about the visit was not going to see the doctor, but the ride to and from the train because before we got on the train my mom would stop at the newsstand right next door where I was allowed one piece of candy. Once we got back she always stopped at Nick's Pizzeria where we would get a slice of pizza.
Do you feel as though being from the Bronx has heavily influenced who you are today?
I wouldn’t say the Bronx as a borough per se influenced me, but the people within the Bronx have. I will always remember Mrs. Anderson from middle school who always taught us that being black was a great thing. Because of her I had always wanted to go to a HBCU. My family and friends have also influenced me in some way. With that being said, I would like to thank the Bronx for allowing all these amazing people in my life.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
My biggest inspiration would have to be my parents. If someone asked me this years ago I would say just my mom. However, due to current life events my dad is now included as one of my inspirations. I grew up seeing my mom working 2-3 jobs at a time just to provide for her family of 6. I know at times it wasn’t easy, but she stuck through it and always provided us with what we needed and wanted. Although she had so many jobs, she still made it her duty to be involved in our lives. She was a part of PTA, brought me to track, piano, and dance practice and the list continues. As for my dad he’s an inspiration to me because about 5-6 years ago my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This man has stood by my mom's side through it all. I know you may be reading this and saying to yourself, "that’s what he’s supposed to do it’s his wife", but that’s not true at all. You don’t know how you would react to a situation until you are going through it yourself. My dad is a strong individual because I know deep down he’s hurting because they made life plans with one another for after retirement. I wish to have the same strength they both have once I gain my family and husband in the future.
What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
My greatest accomplishment to date would be me buying my own car, obtaining my degree, and recently moving into my own place.
If you could, in what ways would you give back to your community?
This is funny you ask because this is something my boyfriend and I have been speaking about for the past month. I remember as a kid I was always involved in extracurricular activities. I was thinking about starting a non-profit where I would be able to provide the kids in the neighborhood with somewhere they could hang out safely, but also have fun and learn. Older kids could learn how to draft up a resume and possibly take cooking lessons as well. I would also like to teach the younger kids games we grew up playing, i.e. Double Dutch.
If someone were visiting the Bronx, where would you tell them to go?
I don’t really travel around the Bronx. My daily routine is mostly going to work and coming home Visit Nick Pizza and when it's summer time, visit Van Cortlandt Park because on some nights there are free concerts and movies, and The Botanical Gardens because it's gorgeous there.