Get to Know… Kia Pearson
‘I worked hard to get here and I belong’
Are you originally from the Rochester area? If not, what led you here?
I am originally from Michigan, the automotive state. I transplanted here once I finished my nursing degree to work for Mayo Clinic.
What do you like best about Rochester?
I love that Mayo Clinic is here. It is amazing having the world’s leading hospital right in our backyard.
What changes do you think still need to be made?
I think that Rochester could use more diversity and inclusion efforts.
What do you do for a living and why did you choose that career?
I am a Registered Nurse working in the cardiovascular department. I chose this career path because African Americans and/or Black people are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, I have lost a few family members to it. I wanted to learn as much as I could to help prevent more cardiac related deaths within my family and community.
What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to get into your industry?
Remember to check your implicit bias and treat everyone with the same dignity and respect as you would have someone treat you.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment and what has been your greatest challenge you've had to overcome?
As a mother, I always say that my greatest accomplishments are my children. Next to them, I have earned three degrees and am currently working on my fourth, which will add "doctor" to my name. My greatest challenge has been trying to reach my goals in the face of adversity and doing it while usually being the only person of color in the room. Sometimes I felt as if I did not belong in a certain space and felt like an “other.” However, I overcame those hurdles and broke through those doors and will continue to do so because I worked hard to get here and I belong.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I absolutely love trees. I think they are beautiful. Funny thing, they are what I take the most pictures of whenever I go on vacation. It is on my bucket list to visit the Redwood National Park.
Get to know ... is a feature in Rochester In Color, a special section within the Post Bulletin's website that profiles people of color in our community. Find it at www.postbulletin.com/RochesterInColor. If you know of someone who should be featured, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org