Interview with Sherron Pearson
In honor of Women’s History Month, this MINT MAG Special Edition issue is dedicated to a group of individuals that are greatly integrated within the success of this country — women of color. This issue showcases the tremendous impact of the wide-ranging contributions, talents, strengths, ideas, and experiences that all women of color possess. So thank you to our contributors of this issue, our spotlights, our cover features, and the countless women everywhere who continue to do impactful things every single day.
To kick-off this issue here is an interview of Mint Inc.’s very own Co-Founder and CTO, Sherron Pearson conducted by Joshua A. Foster, Mint Inc. Co-Founder and CEO.
Q: In a country that has a long history of inequality, especially for black women, what did it mean to you seeing a black woman, Kamala Harris, sworn in as the United States Vice President?
Sherron: Although it was astounding to witness a Black woman take office as the United States Vice President, the weight of its implications hit home for me recently while at a playground with my son. “Well done, Dr. Liam!” I heard the grandmother of my son’s friend call out. Looking over, I saw the chipper three-year-old, Liam, carry his first aid kit towards my son near the slide. While I immediately felt admiration for her exposing him to such a noble occupation, I then reflected on my own experience. I attempted a Pre-Med track in college for one week until the internal resistance from my goal of pursuing a medical degree and my underlying understanding of what I believed to be possible as a Black girl from South Central Los Angeles completely overwhelmed me. Having very little exposure to Black women physicians led me to believe that becoming a doctor was not something that “we” did. I felt uncomfortable registering for classes, talking to my classmates, and even saying that I was a Pre-Med student because I had a hard time believing it for myself. Becoming a Black woman politician, similarly, was an even more elusive concept.
So at that moment on the playground, I reflected on what Kamala Harris’s new role means for young Black girls that are now forming their ideas of what’s possible. I am beyond excited for them and how that will translate in the future workforce.
Q: What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your role as Co-Founder and CTO of a black-owned startup?
Sherron: Yes, Representation is everything! Serving as the Co-Founder and CTO sends a message of proof that Black women can be influential business and technology leaders. Working with Mint allows me to leverage my skills and experience to amplify the exposure of minority professionals in various disciplines as well as provide opportunities and resources that enable them to feel heard, seen, and supported. It is incredibly satisfying to know that I am doing my part.
Q: As you are empowering women that follow your journey, who is a trailblazing woman that has empowered and inspired you towards the success that you have had?
Sherron: Her name is Monique Hunter, and I will never forget her. Sophomore year at Crenshaw High School was a pivotal time in my life. Although I had always been a “smart” student, I felt bored with school and began gravitating towards the wrong crowd. We met at a hair salon and distinctly recalled being in awe of seeing such a powerful Black woman. She was wearing a full business suit on a Saturday, and I could not help but overhear her phone conversation where she spoke with such authority. “Whoa!” I thought to myself. She handed my mother her business card and told her that she had a job for me if I were open to it, and the rest was history. Three days a week, I began working as the Public Relations Manager at Food From the ‘Hood. She taught me invaluable lessons and exposed me to a way of life that I did not think was possible. I learned how to package myself and look the part. To her, growing up in South Central Los Angeles was not a license for complacency, but a part of my identity that could positively contribute towards my overall potential. As a teenager at Food From the ‘Hood, she prepared us for opportunities such as a feature on PBS Biz Kid$, congresswoman Yvonne Brathwaite Burke’s talk show, and even the 2009 BET Awards where Jamie Foxx presented us with a Community Impact award. I saw a shift in myself that was able to look past survival and limitations in South Central to understand that the world was mine for the taking. From there,
I learned how to dream bigger, set more ambitious goals, and be the best possible version of myself to accomplish them.