Niatia Kirkland, also known as Lil Mama may be a be a top-charting hip-hop artist and actress, but she never forgets where home is.
Last week, the 28 year-old surprised the students of Progress High School For Professional Careers in Brooklyn. There she spent the afternoon with the students, discussing the importance of staying motivated and goal-oriented.
“Often times, the closest people to us discouraged us from pursuing what might seem abstract or unrealistic career interests,” she says. “Please be aware of the naysayers and non-believers. They will hold you back.”
Lil Mama , also a Brooklyn native, shared her life story and says if she could make it, so can they.
“We are from Brooklyn, we come from the same place,” she tells the students, most were African-American and Latino descent. “If I realized my dreams, you can do it too.”
She also reminded the kids to keep their eyes on the bigger picture and gain skills that will set them up for success.
“By that, I mean, get an education,” she says.
According to the American Community Survey, Brooklyn leads the list of high school dropouts with over 20%. Over 75% of people in Brooklyn have a high school diploma compared to the nearly 94% of college graduates in Hoboken, New Jersey. Less than 40% of Brooklyn natives have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The hazel-eyed talented beauty first came onto the scene with her catchy single “Lipgloss” in 2008 and “Take Me Back in 2015”, along with numerous others. In 2017, she shined in her leading role as hip-hop Bonnie (and Clyde) in TV One’s “When Love Kills: The Felicia Blakely Story” and blew our minds as Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.
Over time Lil Mama has blossomed into a confident, Royal Woman loving the skin she’s in and inspiring others to do the same and to keep pushing towards their goals, as she explains in her Instagram video below:
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.