We had the good fortune of connecting with Dozie Oheri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dozie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started Choose to DO, Inc. because of a few things that transpired in my life. I come from an immigrant home, and I am the only girl among 4 boys. That dynamic brought on a lot of emotional challenges that caused me to struggle with my self-worth as I grew older. By the time I got to college, I was depressed and did not know it. At some point, I recognized that I needed help and decided to see a therapist, which started my journey to working on my self-esteem. Also, I’ve worked with children since I was about 9 years old and I saw that no matter their economic background and racial demographic, every child wanted to receive and feel love. Choose to DO, Inc. was born out of my own experience of dealing with low self-esteem and from my career working with young adults.
What should our readers know about your business?
Choose to DO, Inc. is a nonprofit, founded March 8, 2016, that mentors underprivileged youth. Our mission is to focus on the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking. In 2017, Choose to DO, Inc. started an initiative to tackle low self-esteem, through our program Breaking the Cycle, which is made up of 5 classes that promotes self-love and leadership among girls and boys 9 – 19 years old. In 2020, Choose to DO, Inc. started online classes to provide at home instructions, as an extension of our initiative to tackle low self-esteem in young adults. Since January 2017, we have mentored over 225 youth. What sets us apart from other organizations is our mentorship programs, which are a one-time interaction between mentors and mentees, where we create a family, fun environment. I am most excited about partnering with like minded businesses and organizations, with the purpose of bringing our kids a unique experience. I got to where I am today because I realized what I did not like about working for others and decided to invest in myself instead, it was not easy. I struggled with getting my family to support me. In the beginning, my family did not see my vision and did not support me. But I realized that I only had to prove to myself, that I can build a nonprofit. Along the way I learned that a nonprofit is a business, which means that my organization needs to have a business structure to grow. I want the world to know that Choose to DO, Inc. is run by a black woman, who plans to scale her nonprofit globally and create jobs for her community. This is a brand and a face that generations will recognize.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston has a little hub for black creative millennials. I would start off with an outdoors stroll at McGovern Centennial Gardens, then stop for food at Cool Runnings Jamaican grill, then later grab a drink at Candy Shack and club hop on Washington Ave. I don’t have a favorite place to hangout, but I go to Project Row Houses often, which is a row of art installations inside shotgun houses. The Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Art museum, The Menil Collection are pretty good places to get out of the heat. I like diversity in my personal life, so I will do anything that has art, good food and good music.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Susan Nichols firstname.lastname@example.org, She is my mentor and friend.
Photos taken by Dozie Oheri.