Real Talk your Identity and your Future

Brisa Flores, Reporter

Barstow Community College held a webinar called “Real Talk: Your Identity and Your Future” as a part of their Black History Month speaker series on Feb. 25.

Herb English, vice president of student services at Barstow Community College (BCC), introduced the webinar’s guest speaker, Dr. Dyrell Foster. Foster is the first in his family to graduate and get a college degree. For over 20 years, Foster has been an administrator of the California Community College system and is now the President at Las Positas College. 

“Dr. Foster is committed to providing strong leadership with a high degree of integrity, passion, and commitment to fully serve our students in a growing and supportive community,” said English. Fosters’ presentation was more of a conversation with the audience. Foster asked the audience to reflect on everything that has happened in the past year to start  it off. 

Foster then shared his own recap on the past year. “We just need to be in the moment and just realize how monumental we are living in this environment for the past year, and we’re still in it.” Foster said. Ethnicity, history, culture, gender identity, neighborhood, beliefs, and history shape people to be who they are today, Foster added.

Foster went on to share his experiences and story about what shaped him into who he is today. His father’s superhero-like kindness and his mothers’ hard work and determination helped shape him from a young age to who he is now. 

Foster spoke about his self-doubt when he first started college, “I realized I was invited to the party, but I wasn’t supposed to dance. I was admitted, but I wasn’t set up to graduate.”  

“Self-doubt and lack of confidence is really one’s worst enemy,” he added.

Foster comes from a biracial background, “I was never confused about my identity,” he said. Because of his racial identity, he began experiencing racism from a young age and used a few personal experiences of how he was perceived and treated. He hoped to show others that he was actually a nice guy, but he was never able to, due to the color of his skin.

“You have to know who you are, and you can’t let others define who you are and what you are capable of and not capable of,” said Foster. Foster also said that the doubt one gets from people is sometimes what motivates one to prove them wrong. It drives people to accomplish their goals and to prove they can do anything no matter their identity. 

“We can’t be what we can’t see,” Foster added; one needs to know what their future looks like, to find what motivates them, and to find their drive for life.