“Be courageous, work hard, keep learning and invest in yourself.”
These words of advice for today’s youth come from Caribbean-American communicator Neki Mohan, who serves as Vice President of Multicultural Business & Community Engagement for Visit Lauderdale.
The well-known journalist, who has spent decades in front of the camera at major network outlets across the United States, wants young people to be open to adventure. “Don’t be afraid to say yes to new opportunities that you may be fearful of. It is going to be hard work, but make a plan and be intentional about it,” counseled the Brooklyn-born Mohan, who was raised in Trinidad and Tobago by West Indian parents.
“What was my plan? To work in a career that I enjoyed, support my mom, buy a home and build a foundation for generational wealth,” she disclosed, explaining that her mother made $250 a week and put her through college.
She reflected that she knew from early on that she was supposed to do more with her life, and counsels her teenage daughter to “dream big, go big and don’t stop, you are worth it!”
Mohan, who began her career alongside journalism greats such as Carole Simpson, Peter Jennings, David Brinkley and Sam Donaldson at ABC News’ Washington Bureau, believes she was fortunate to succeed in the news business and credits her accomplishments to “hustling hard”.
Working across 10 television stations in five cities throughout her career, she recalled doing a morning shift at one station, then the night shift at another while working in Los Angeles “because I was freelancing and needed the work.”
“I was raised by hard-working, religious grandparents who instilled that ethic in me. I chose a college in DC so I could learn how this nation worked. I had a community there that gave me a taste of home, but my priorities were school and hustle,” she recalled.
Mohan revealed that she surrounds herself with people who make her better, and she has found numerous mentors at the prestigious National Association of Black Journalists. “I am not afraid to ask questions. No job is too small, and I try to bring maximum value in any space. This is not an easy road when you are starting out with very little, but it is so worth it,” she said, encouraging young people to “find out what makes your heart sing.”
The world-class communicator revealed that she regularly listens to podcasts by Jay Shetty, Oprah and Tamron Hall, among others, and these positive influences put her in the right mindset. “I never stop learning and I have raised my daughter to do the same. Invest in yourself! If times are tough, don’t go to the club, go to church or the gym! Stress while climbing the corporate ladder is real and taking care of your mental health is important. If you live in a city where you don’t know anyone, volunteer at a local charity and join a church,” she encouraged.
She describes her work at Visit Lauderdale as a part of a journey she could not have imagined for herself. “The opportunity to serve my community as well as to have a second act in the travel industry is exciting.
I am still new in this role but the journalist in me is thrilled to tackle this new adventure and learn everything I can. I am so honored to represent my community as well to connect travelers to the diversity of our destination,” she declared.
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