Rachel Melton is in her second year studying, Religion, Philosophy & Ethics at Kings College London.
Being of both Nigerian & Jamaican descent, it became increasingly important to her to get connected to her cultural roots. Over the years, Rachel’s studies and experiences highlighted to her that some of the identity issues that she faced, stemmed from feeling a huge disconnect from her cultural heritages. For this reason – and many others – she decided that she wanted to gain her Jamaican Citizenship. After a lot of obstacles and hurdles she finally received her Jamaican Citizenship in December 2017. She realises that it is so important that “as young people, we take steps to re-engage with our cultural heritages in ways that run deeper than the superficial. Although many young people have embraced and acclimatised to the places which our parents and/or grandparents settled in years ago, it is important that we do not lose sight of our own unique histories, contributions and influence.” “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” – James Baldwin.
It’s important to Rachel that she takes part in creating a world in which her sisters will grow up in; one where they are safe, loved, educated, respected and fearless. “As young people, we have a gift to inspire those who are younger than us by being an example but also assisting them wherever we can.” This is one of the reasons why for the past two years, she has been a mentor to young school children. “Seeing the potential and assisting pupils from as young as 11 to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be, is wonderful to be a part of.”
Music has always been a huge passion of Rachel’s and this inspired her to start her blog, 4vinylloverz.com. She attends gigs regularly, makes blog posts about them and interviews up and coming artists. What started out as a hobby is now a platform in which she can share her love for music and connect with people who also share that love. It has created a space for individuals to discover upcoming artistes, as well as discovering new events in which everyone can come together and indulge in great music.
My advice to my younger self: do what you LOVE no matter what that may be. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, nor do you have to discredit yourself because you see loads of others doing what you do. Your contributions are unique, because you are you.