We had the good fortune of connecting with Erni Poché and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erni, what role has risk played in your life or career?
In my culture they say if you don’t take risks, you don’t succeed.
On November 24th 2021, I left my job.
I didn’t have anything lined up but I had some savings to get me by.
Did I stress? Yes.
Did I worry? Yes.
This pause in my career during a pandemic and the holidays, has been the best decision I’ve ever made. I have been able to reflect on what matters to me and what I want out of my journey. We all work for a purpose. I get that. I’ve traded in material things for peace. All I want is to be at peace. This can be defined differently for many people.
Peace for me has been surrounding myself with loved ones overseas, learning more of my culture, living with little to no worries because the world stops in the islands. It’s not a constant go New Yorker mentality. It’s soothing, it feels like I belong. I can be my true self. Taking a risk has been rewarding. Maybe we shouldn’t even call it a risk. It hasn’t exposed me to danger… it’s been a win all along. I just needed the right time to see it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I want the world to SPEAK UP. So many of us were taught to shut up as kids. Respect your elders, don’t challenge them.
Today I tell you to break those imaginary rules.
Challenge every person and every thought. It’s the only way we grow. Advocate for your needs, your communities needs, your friends needs, etc.
And if you ever need someone to help you fight the long fight, I’m here.
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.
I hope you have some running sneakers because we are walking all over NYC.
We are taking the train and heading uptown to grab an infamous baconeggandcheese (yes it’s one word folx) plus we can’t beat the uptown price.
Head back downtown to explore Manhattan and all the cute brunches for the weekend (unlimited mimosas 😉)
Catch a Broadway play (thoughts of a colored man)
Pull up to Queens for some good vegan soul food at Veggie castle & some Haitian Patties.
The diversity of food in NYC is the best part!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people have helped me in my career and personal life.
Kevin Caraballo for inviting to his FACTS podcast when I was out in the streets of NYC protesting.
DJ Hart for being a mentor, believing in my creative abilities, and putting my skills to work on a global scale in the music industry.
Previous co-workers and organizers.
Everyone who I’ve crossed paths with has influenced my journey whether they know it or not and for that I’m grateful.
Cypress Mini Market, for providing me with one of my first and most impactful roles in my community, A bodeguera (Cash register chick @ at NYC Bodega). Little did I know this was going to be the start of crucial connections in my life.
Jose A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR