We had the good fortune of connecting with Bree K. Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bree K., how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is scary for a plethora of reasons. Risk taking has played a HUGE role in my life and career. I went to college to become a Psychologist. During my junior year, I was having internal conflicts because I ended up falling in love with American Sign Language, Deaf History, and Deaf Culture. I was becoming immersed in the community. This new found love I was developing was the start of me questioning if Psychology was the path I wanted to continue on. Because of comfort and because I had already planned my future, I decided it was. However, my internal conflicts grew until I finally decided not to pursue a career as a Psychologist anymore. Making that career change was huge for me. I was scared to tell my parents I wanted to drop out of college, I was afraid that people would look down on me because I didn’t know what my next path would look like to make my new career choice possible. There was so much fear, but I couldn’t rest…literally, I couldn’t even sleep at night until I made that risk. It was scary, but it was peaceful. If I had never made that jump, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In addition to pursuing a National Interpreter Certification (NIC) I am also a content creator. My mom in fact is my business partner. We do all our projects together. Back in 2016, we created and produced a web series called I Hear You. Due to my passion for the Deaf community, I wanted to create a project where Deaf talent can be on screen and behind the scenes. I Hear You is about 5 college students who become friends after being thrust into a class project. 3 of them are Deaf and 2 are hearing. There’s always some kind of conflict they’re facing with one another due to the cultural differences and language barriers. It’s through their differences that they realize they’re not that different at all: they all strive for the same thing to be loved, valued, heard, and respected. Fingers crossed that we’ll have the opportunity to get it picked up on tv one day. If you’d like to check out some of our episodes, you can search I Hear You Web TV on YouTube. In addition to that, my business partner and I have created 2 other shows and we’re currently brain storming on writing a feature film. We’re very passionate about giving equal opportunities for not only Deaf talent to be seen but for those who may be wheelchair users, have DownSyndrome, Cerebral Palsy…you name it. If you’ve got the talent and are dedicated to your craft, we want you. Getting to where I am today was not easy. It’s still not easy. I have so far to go. I overcome the challenges by prayer. I have to be intentional about reminding myself that when God created me, he created me for his purpose. The desires I have are the desires he gave me. He wouldn’t have given it to me if he didn’t have plans for me to prosper in them. Other things I do to overcome is remember my why. On the days I want to throw in the towel, I have to remember my passion for why I wanted to do this in the first place. My destiny isn’t just about me. My destiny is attached to other people’s dreams as well. The human body is supposed to work together. If one person doesn’t do their part, it throws the entire body off. I have to remember that my suffering is for me. It’s for the improvement of those who will come under me so that they won’t have to endure the pain to the same extent that I’ve endured it. I’ve learned so many lessons. The biggest one is so cliche’ but it’s true…everyone who smiles in your face is not your friend. People who I thought would never turn on me, did. I’ve been lied on and falsely accused publicly. It was very painful because people who knew the truth refused to stand up and say they knew it wasn’t true. I’ve also learned that everybody isn’t going to like you. You can be the kindest person ever, but sometimes, no matter how kind you are, the truth is that some people just can’t stand you. So I’ve learned to be wise and be cautious of those who I allow in my inner circle. Through my story and brand, I want the world to be aware of the Deaf community and I want them to be aware of their prejudices that they may have (regardless if it’s intentional or not) so that the Deaf community can finally begin to have equal access to information, communication, and all aspects of life…the same that their hearing counterparts do.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting, I would take them to all my favorite malls…I love the mall. I would then take them to the Santa Monica Pier and 3rd street Promenade. Downtown LA so they can see the staples center, the Nokia center and eat at some of the restaurants down there like the Yard House. I love driving into neighbors like Beverly Hills and Bel Air and just looking at all the beautiful homes, so maybe I’d do that with my best friend. Next, we’d of course have to go on Hollywood Blvd. I’d sign up to do tourist attractions with them. Last but not least we’d have to go to the amusement parks; 6 flags and Disneyland. Disneyland is the happiest place on earth so that’s a must. I love hot wings and pizza, so somewhere in there we’re going to have to make dinner plans for some Dominoes and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give a shout out to my family. My mom Shelley, my dad John, my sister Bethynie, my grandmother Brenda, and my uncle Marcus. Those 5 people have taken off the shirt on their backs to pour into me. Rather it’s financially or emotionally. If they are able to do something for me to ensure that I continue on my path, they will without question. They’re very supportive of me and I couldn’t ask for a better support system. Next, I have to shoutout D’yann Crosby. D’yann was my to American Sign Language teacher when I was in the 7th grade. She never failed to speak life into me and always told me she saw something special in me. I’ll never forget one time my mom and grandmother came to an assembly that I was apart of, to see me sign a song. After the assembly, I remember D’yann talking to the both of them, telling them that this field is something I need to pursue. I didn’t become active with learning fluency in the language until I was in college, but nonetheless, if D’yann hadn’t planted the seed in me, I wouldn’t be here.
Curtis Sabir Joshua James