“You Don’t Really See Black & White You See Green” A message From Sherifat Lawal Price
With her faith, family, and her passion to spread financial literacy being the spark to Sherifat’s daily hustle in this world, she keeps the words her mother told her as a Child,” people don’t change they just adapt”, near and dear to her heart. Mrs. Price is the Assistant Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Officer for the only licensed and federally insured African-American owned bank in Texas, Unity National Bank, and enjoys her ability to uniquely “deliver that message ” about financial literacy “that no other institution does and being creative, flexible and better understanding” of her the African – American community. Although, being “ a black woman, In my position, and with my educational background, being at a small community bank knowing that I may not get paid as much as others at larger institutions [creates] an internal struggle to not get up and go somewhere else for a salary,” Sherifat lives by her brand, and is an advocate for change because she knows where her true purpose lies. As a result, Mrs. Price has “ learned to create [her] own niche where [she is] more marketable in the bank, but also in return creating that bonus or incentive plan for [herself] and [her] brand. “
Sherifat found her passion and calling in life, ” two years after [she] graduated from college [when she] had [her] daughter. When the time came to make the decision of what path to follow career wise, Sherifat states,” I was trying to figure out okay what direction I NEED to go into. I had the opportunity to work at Unity national bank because I interned there before I graduated and after being there for two years I felt I was needed, not really for the institution, but for the community’s sake. Once I started working with different business and different consumers I felt that my purpose was that I needed to be there and my calling was that the community needed someone [that they could relate to] that was not in the community, but rather outside looking in and could inform and better prepare them for their future, building wealth and creating generational wealth.
Financial literacy and freedom are two critical needs, in minority communities and Mrs. Price is devoted to spreading that message and informing the community on the importance of being informed and how to change their mindsets, because as Sherifat, shared with us that growing up she was ” sheltered and had no idea that that’s how people were living. You get a check, you pay your bills or you’re overdrawing your account just to make ends meet.” So. “When I first got [to Unity National Bank] it was like a rude awakening. I had no idea our community was living check to check and [I began to learn it’s a result of] just pure ignorance.”
From that point on Mrs. Price made it her duty to spread knowledge, because she ” felt if I’m not a part of it or the people I work with aren’t apart of it [this issue] pretty much will become a lost cause.” In her opinion, financial freedom is so hard for people to obtain simply due to the fact of “not knowing and not being educated. At the end of the day if you’re a child and your parents are not teaching you the importance of not having debt, making sure whatever you want to purchase that if you don’t have the cash for it, don’t do. Also, our school systems need to teach us as well. We need to have financial literacy just like [we] take a STAR Test, or talk about technology, and science.” Our students need to have some part in their curriculum focusing on financial literacy, “because it affects our future and makes us obtain debt, and become dependent on cosigning for things we need like homes and cars” Sherifat admits, obtaining financial freedom “is hard because you get into a job and they only pay you so much, but the cost of living is steady going up, so it’s hard for people to get out [the cycle of debt], but you really have to change your mindset, budget save and build on it”
One of Mrs. Price’s greatest accomplishments in life is going back to school and getting her Executive MBA specializing in Banking and Financial Institutions from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. She is Also a proud graduated of Fisk University in Nashville Tennessee, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Finance Being that she grew up in “very diverse setting” and also had the opportunity to experience both a PWI and an HBCU, Sherifat feels, “it’s important to go to both. It gives you balance. PWIs give you the real world and HBCUs build you up and give you confidence character” Although, “Going to an HBCU (which was not my very first choice) taught me a lot and it showed me that there are people that really care and want to see you strive. It taught me independence and how to think outside the box. ”
Sherifat cherished her moments in college and she hopes that with her presence at The Black Collegiate Conference that she teaches others “that you can do anything you put your mind to do. Each day the industry is changing right now were on this technology hike so, take as much information as you can from the people that are before. Take information in and really let it resonate because not a lot of people have the opportunity to be in college or attend a conference like this to this magnitude.” Sherifat also want us to remember these that when it comes to personal branding “depending on what you’re doing at that point in life you always want to deliver a message, internalize because what you’re doing with your life. Market that time in your life because your story is your brand and people are following your story. Be unique, different, and innovative”
Rachel Williams43 Posts
Rachel is a 21 year old Management Major at Prairie View A&M University and aspires to one day own her own event planning company. Rachel has a passion for community involvement and uses blogging as an outlet to voice her opinions and inform the public about topics pertaining to religion, relationships, health, beauty, fitness, music, and other "trending topics" from an open and relatable perspective. She just recently started her own website called "Don't Forget The A", a blog and a brand that encourages individuality, confidence and healthy living as well as focusing on the importance of living to make a difference through giving back and leaving a legacy. She plans to earn her Masters in Public Administration to help her advance her career in community engagement and event planning.