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Your Story Matters Series : Feat Aye Justin Mashia

We met Justin and his brand online. We loved what they were doing being active in the community and integrating Bronx history along the way. One of our brand advocates, Andrea, also participates with the group and loves the energy and love that they bring. We found it to be fitting to hear their story and give them some light. Born in Portland, Oregon, and raised here in the Bronx, Aye Justin Mashia, whose family’s origins are here in America, likes to research history. Specifically, Bronx history. What inspired Justin to pursue his passion was his friend Pedro. Justin says, “My friend Pedro ignited my interest in Bronx history by inviting me along Bronx history walks around the borough.” Hands on activity and seeing things for yourself in person definitely helps build someone’s knowledge of something. A good friend who shows you and teaches you along the way is even greater. Still speaking on his influences, Justin continues. “My mother is a big influence. She is a 2nd-grade teacher but was also a history major.” Very cool! Having access to someone whose an educator can definitely plant the seed for education for you. Justin’s participation in this project comes from how much fun he thought it was and how much of a great way for him to introduce himself and Bronx Sole to others all over the borough. Justin then shares with us his goals and dreams he wants to achieve. “I’d love for us to acquire a brick and mortar where we’d have space for Bronxites to be active as well as classrooms or meeting rooms where we could have workshops on how to save money, how to buy a house/condo, explain stocks, and how to invest as well as provide a space where Bronxites can have meetings.” Amazing. Truly amazing what us the people can put our minds to doing to contribute in our communities and in this world. Speaking of powerful minds, we also asked Justin about his experience or knowledge about mental health. Our minds can both be in the best and the worst places depending on our circumstances and situations. Justin says, “I’ve been injured for almost a year now so depression is something I deal with off and on. Some days are better than others. Staying physically active by taking long walks helps me. Having positive & motivating people around me is also essential to my mental health.” Indeed. Always important to have something positive and motivating in our lives to keep us up and going.  On a positive note, Justin says “It’s never too late to make your dreams happen. Too late is in the grave.” Deep. Go for yours and get it while you can and are alive.
Written by Jalen Hemphill

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