Quaniece Green is a young, vibrant, 25-year old, native Annapolitan. Quaniece had a complex childhood, growing up in Annapolis Gardens, and later living in Newtowne 20. She lost her father when she was 2 weeks old. Her mother worked long hours to provide for Quaniece, and her 3 brothers. She explained that she understands that young black women struggle with mental health issues – depression, anxiety, fear of failure, in addition to day-to-day struggles that make it challenging to grow and settle.
Quaniece had the good fortune of being raised by a mother with powerful strength of perseverance. She instilled grit and a tough work ethic in Quaniece. Quaniece’s aunt always encouraged her to “do something different”. Quaniece had the privilege of traveling with family members while growing up, which expanded her horizons. She witnessed other life styles and her desire for expansion in her own life increased. Despite where she comes from, Quaniece knew that she did not have to be a negative product of her environment. Quaniece embarked on a journey to find herself – to find out who she was, and what she could do with her life. During her journey, she met a teacher at Annapolis High School who would sit down and talk to her about life. Recalling emotionally, Quaniece said “I could tell that she cared about me. She advocated for us. She told me how successful I was going to be.” At Annapolis High School, Quaniece surrounded herself with friends that shared some of the same experiences and aspirations as she did. Also, during her journey, Quaniece’s faith began to blossom. A faith that has provided her much needed strength as she pursued, and continues to pursue, her dreams.
Quaniece did exactly as she intended. She attended and received a B.S. in Rehabilitative Services from University of Maryland Eastern Shore. It was a challenging transition for her as she moved to the next level of independence. But she persevered and graduated a semester early. Quaniece then attended Howard University, receiving a M.S. in Occupational Therapy. She then passed her occupational therapy boards after graduating, becoming a licensed Occupational Therapist. When reflecting on her academic success, Quaniece strongly credits the positive environment of having attended two HBCU’s. Quaniece said, “the culture and pride at HBCU’s is so rich. You are around people you can relate to – other people who come from a complex background just like you – for different reasons, we all made it our business to graduate. I felt understood.”
Quaniece now practices as an Occupational Therapist at a school for special-needs students. While pursuing her master’s degree, she understood that she was entering into a predominantly white profession. Naturally, she was concerned if she would be accepted, but it did not deter her. Her faith carries her beyond worries about racial prejudice and stereotypes. The wisdom she carries at her young age is inspiring. She does not dwell on inequity. She believes one must move forward with those who treat you equally and leave the others of prejudice and distorted perspectives behind. She believes that it is of greater importance to focus on maintaining one’s humility, and one’s compassion for the underserved.
Quaniece quoted from Coretta Scott King: “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe you must become its soul.” Thank you Quaniece for being a bright light in the soul of our community.