We had the good fortune of connecting with Ciara Freeman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ciara, how do you think about risk?
Calculated risk taking has been integral to my overall success. I believe that complacency may develop in an individual without a certain amount of risk taking, and that with having both faith in a goal and a plan to carry it out, things always have a way of working out. Had I not taken the chance of moving from my small home town to the incredible city of Los Angeles and placing myself in rooms to build connections and network, my life would have remained the same. However, risks must always be accompanied with a plan. For example, when I applied to Loyola Marymount University and other expensive private schools in the city, I knew that I had no means to pay for the bill, so I also applied to several scholarships. With hard work, faith, and God’s calling on my life, I landed a full-ride Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship. Had I remained complacent and kept lower standards for myself, I may have ended up attending a school I was not fond of, if any at all. Because I put in the work and took the risk to achieve more, my blessing matched that, and then some.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a full time student and part time content creator. This May, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in communication studies and journalism from Loyola Marymount University. I’ve also just begun my master’s degree in Global Public Health at my dream school, New York University. Over the past few years as I’ve grown as a person, my interests have certainly changed. When I first moved to Los Angeles, my goal was to act in films and television while pursing school. However, after studying abroad in Italy and travelling across the world, taking courses in public health, in addition to the impact of the pandemic, my interests now lie in research. Specifically, I am interested in studying infectious disease control and mitigating the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations with hopes to work in international/domestic policy. Ultimately, I realized that I could not balance too many different projects at once. To narrow my focus, I have found pursuing higher education and a career to be the most valuable to me. I plan to receive my doctoral degree and continue discovering new passions of mine! Despite my shifting priorities, I still have a love for all things creative and utilize the influencer network of Instagram to create content and remain connected to my artsy side. My following has grown to over 13,000, and I continue collaborating with brands whose mission and products are of the highest quality. I have learned that making career changes is completely acceptable, and is in fact a fantastic way to reinvent oneself and remain enthusiastic about one’s own work. The mission behind my own personal brand remains the same: for my digital platforms to inspire others to achieve greatness. I believe that life will always fall into place with a secure trust in God, consistent positivity, some amazing travels, and tons of delicious food.
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.
First off, she has come to the right place! I am a major foodie. Here are some of my faves: Best restaurants in the city: Best Asian – TAO Asian Bistro & Nightclub, Fifty One, Wacky Wok; Best Italian – Pasta Sisters, C&O Cucina, Midici; Best Mexican – Cilantro; Best Diners – Lazy Dog, Hoff’s Hut, Du-Pars, Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, Mel’s; Best Burger – Islands, Umami Burger; Best BBQ – Lucille’s; Best Overall – Great Maple, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, 26 Beach! Best casual food spots: California Chicken Cafe in Venice (best healthy salads, wraps and cookies), Sweetgreen (best customizable salads ever), Wurstkuche in Venice (amazing grilled sausages!), Trejo’s Tacos in La Brea (Danny Trejo’s delicious taco spot), Cinco Tacos in Westchester ($1 delicious tacos and guac!) Best dessert: Salt & Straw Ice Cream in Venice (hands down best ice cream ever!!), Wanderlust Creamery in Venice (ice cream flavors from around the world!), Blue Star Donuts in Manhattan Beach (amazing texture and unique flavors!), “The Cookie” from Bristol Farms Best beaches: Manhattan/Redondo Beach for restaurants and sights, Malibu for solitude and romance, Laguna for a combination of the two. My favorite neighborhood beach for relaxing is Dockweiler/Playa Del Rey Beach. Best places to shop: Century City outdoor mall, the Grove, 3rd St. Santa Monica, and Topanga & Del Amo Malls Best things to do (pre-COVID included): Drive in-movie theaters (Paramount), paint & sip, hike to the Hollywood sign & red rock canyon, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Groundlings improv comedy show, attending talk shows/game shows, and movie premieres
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Absolutely, I have to give a MASSIVE shoutout to my mother, Sherilyn Rose Cheatham Freeman. She is my backbone, and my strongest, most consistent supporter. She is the most selfless person I know, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make me happy and see to it that I succeed. I could not have made it this far in my career without her. Everything that I do is motivated by her.