Today we’d like to introduce you to Davion Robinson.
Davion, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
To begin my ‘story’ which is still in progress, I’d have to give credit where it is due. Luckily, I was born to a single-parent household that featured a loving family. My grandparents, their children (my uncle and aunt), great grandparents and siblings was all I had throughout my life. They were my surrounding figures, my examples of wrong from right and we were all we had. I learned family values and I want to credit them a lot for the overly dedicated, go-getter mentality and ambitious characteristics I’ve always retained since being young. In my single-parent household, I had a mother who made sacrifices and did everything she could, nothing to complain about, only to celebrate. Financial struggles as well as the surrounding environment seemed almost impossible to overcome at several times in life but it takes a village and I’ve had a family that has always been genuine and in my corner. Having that made me want more for myself, and made the obstacles in life not even seem like obstacles. I did not have a strong financial backing but we always had the necessities. Those 5am public bus rides with my mom and siblings across town to the ‘better’ schools academically, wasn’t as big of an issue anymore. Those rides made me wonder at a young age, “how can I get mom a car?” “not just a car but the nicest one possible so we don’t have to walk anymore?”. Working harder than my peers in all aspects simply became the way of life. I simply wanted to be better than not just what people thought I would be, but those people. Falling ten times and making sure I got up the eleventh became habitual. Failure wasn’t an option. Overcoming doubt and hatred towards me became a sport in its own. It required consistency, being strong mentally and knowledge that could always enable adjustments.
Academics were always stressed in my family and although I was stubborn to it, I still sometimes hear the voices of my grandparents telling me “school will take you farther in life than anything,”. For them, knowledge is what was significant, not just being in school but excelling and exceeding the typical standard for young, African Americans in America. I didn’t grow up having a great athletic upside, I simply just came from a family full of it. I had the mental and drive for it but physically wasn’t there. I was a late bloomer as far as my body build, even to where most leagues wouldn’t let me play because I didn’t meet the safety size requirements, haha. So, for much of life (until high school), playing sports was out of the picture. But I found a niche for writing, being intellectual has always been significant to me because the dreams I had, I knew I’d have to hold my own in conversations with very successful and knowledgeable people. I wanted to be looked upon as ahead of anyone my age (even though I started school early) which drove reading and writing to go from just an interest to a passion. I wanted to be the best reader, the best public speaker, the best writer and still til this day in college it applies.
Being fundamentally sound in the classroom was always a passion, just like finding a sport I can be successful in was. For me, it wasn’t about the game, it was about continuing a strong family legacy. Everybody found success in sports. My uncle was a high school standout. My brother played in college. My aunt was a varsity letterman for years. My sister was star in track and basketball all her life. I had family who also played professionally from my great grandfather to several cousins and extended family members on my father’s side. But not having that upside for a while made me always feel like, “then there’s just me”. Success in sports was more than success for me, it was to feel apart rather than outcasted from my strong family name(s).
Once sports fell into place for me, I made a distinct connection with how I can take both literature and sports throughout life. Journalism and sports management filled that role. My ambitions and dreams of maximizing my potential is what has found my academic success in college thus far. I’ve been able to be thought of as a good student to my peers and advisors and my work ethic on court is starting to be recognized. My journey has been filled with lots of misdirection but my family kept faith in me rerouting the path of where my life was heading. I’ve always been surrounded by great people, honorable people and great examples which made my standards high. Most fear of setting high expectations for themselves because of the possibility of failure. But my family instilled in me that failure is only an opportunity to get up and keep attacking. They’ve also taught me to prefer being average in a room full of great people rather than the best in a room full of average people. The struggles of life have always kept me from being content and always desiring more in life. It put a chip on my shoulder to not just make my family proud but keep them proud and move towards success at a more rapid rate. Not having much, didn’t feel like much until I got older. I had a family. That was all I needed, not the newest shoes or lots of money to avoid being made fun of in school. I was taught family values and instilled honorable traits that have taken me far and hopefully even farther.
Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing is smooth about growing up in the lower class, being an introvert and not fitting in more times than not, being black and in a single parent household. But having my kind of family provided strength and a foundation to keep everything intact. Journey has been up and down a lot. Emotionally. Mentally. Performance-wise as well. Struggles along the way were finding how to maximize my potential, not being easily influenced and also self-disciplining myself to demand more of myself.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
The proudest moment for me thus far is hearing my family members tell me they’re proud of me and knowing my great grandparents are proud of me as well! What sets me apart is not feeling proud of success, but how I found that success. Hard work is my specialty.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles is the city of a dreamy lifestyle. Most get caught up, too satisfied and lose their ways of being grounded. But being so close to a city as such has made me want a better lifestyle for my family and I, even more. Often times when I need motivation, I reflect on seeing nice homes here and wondering how life can be in the next few years if I just do the dirty work now. That’s always been a thing for me. Understanding how drastic lives can change whether positively or negatively and the components that can drive the direction of it.
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