“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

“If you deliver them now, they will wear coke bottle glasses and likely not attend Harvard,” the doctor bleakly warned.

After enduring several miscarriages, my mother’s long-awaited blessing was threatened by premature contractions. Despite the doctor's dire prognosis, she endured 14 weeks of bed rest and daily injections to bring twins into the world.

Even before my birth, my future success was questioned. As a black woman, the feeling of exclusion is a daily reality.

High school counselors doubted my aspirations to “reach” schools, nudging me toward “safer” choices. Consulting managers scrutinized my capabilities, expressing skepticism about my potential. In school, at work, and in daily life—I, and many other Black Americans, face this reality—premature judgments, failing to understand the full picture.

Yet, the path forward was made clear by those who dared to hold the door open for me, recognizing my potential. My mother was the first to believe in me, while others followed. Their belief shattered doubts and flung open doors to possibilities.

We live in a world too quick to judge and too slow to understand. My commitment today and every day is to be the leader who sees the unseen, uplifts the underestimated, and acknowledges the overlooked.

Because sometimes, being believed in by just one person can be the lifeline someone needs to turn a doubtful prognosis into a story of unexpected success.

— Jada Haynes