When Tyesha McLean talks about her creativity, she gets animated and talks faster. Often she pulls out her phone. She wants to share a drawing she’s working on or a photo she’s taken.
Sometimes the photos have disappeared. That’s because, she admits, she’s clumsy and drops her phone. She figures she has replaced it at least five times in the last two years.
McLean is a new Mint Artists Guild intern who joined through The Urban Alliance in February. She also is an aspiring model and business leader who loves track, drawing and her grandma’s Jamaican cooking.
The oldest of four siblings, she lived in Jamaica for 15 years. That’s where she grew to love her grandma’s curry chicken and rice. Only after she moved to Detroit did Tyesha realize she does not like winter much.
A senior at Detroit International Academy for Young Women, she plans to go to a four-year college and major in business management. She is considering three main universities: Wayne State University, Michigan State University, and University Of Michigan-Dearborn. Tyesha believes her Mint internship will help her to be more outspoken in the work setting and also improve time management. She recently completed a video for Mint and has created many of our recruiting posts for the Mint Creative Summer Jobs program.
She enjoys fashion and believes a good outfit could make anyone feel good about themselves. Tyesha’s hobbies include drawing and photography. She mostly draws people and she started drawing when she was 12 because she liked the Disney princesses and wanted to create her own princess.
Thin and 6 feet tall, Tyesha wants to be a model because when she was younger she had a hard time accepting the way she looked. Because she was taller than everybody else and had boyish features, she was often mistaken for a boy. That took a large toll on her self esteem. After seeing a model with features similar to hers, she realized that she could not change the way she looked but she could change the way that she perceived herself.
She started her journey of learning to love herself.
She decided to invest in self-care and personal care items. “Now, nothing is too expensive for me,” she said, buying oils for her hair, skin care items and other small gifts.
Tyesha knew she needed new friends, ones who would treat her better and not fill her head with negative perceptions. She made up her mind not to consider others’ perspectives of her. “Not everybody is going to see me the way I see me. I have to tell myself that I’m beautiful,” she said. She acknowledges she’s still working on this and some days she is more successful than others.
“I can change how I perceive myself. And I know that I’m beautiful – and that’s that.”
Next month: Meet intern Sir-Knowledge Watson