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 created 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 four 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. I decided to see a therapist, which started my journey to work on my self-esteem. Also, I’ve worked with children since I was about nine years old. 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 in young adults 9 – 19 years old. Breaking the Cycle is one of our programs, made up of 5 classes that promote self-love and leadership among girls and boys. In 2020, Choose to DO, Inc. started online courses 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 and counting. What sets us apart from other organizations is our youth mentorship programs, which provides a one-time interaction between mentors and mentees, where we foster a family, fun environment. I am most excited about partnering with like-minded businesses and organizations to bring our kids a unique experience. I got to where I am today because I realized that I did not enjoy working for others and decided to invest in myself instead. I struggled with getting my family to support me. In the beginning, my family did not see my vision. I realized that I only had to prove to myself that I could establish 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. I want people worldwide to recognize Choose to DO, Inc. as a legitimate brand that serves its community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a visiting friend in town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston has a little hub for creative black millennials. I would start with an outdoor stroll at McGovern Centennial Gardens. Then stop for food at Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill, then later grab a drink at Candy Shack and bar hop on Washington Ave. I don’t have a favorite place to hang out, but I often go to Project Row Houses, which is a row of art installations inside shotgun houses. The Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Art Museum, and The Menil Collection are good spots to get out of the heat. I like diversity in my personal life and will go anywhere with art, great food, and lively 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.
The Media Block (main photo)