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Meet Janab Kareem in Seal Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janab Kareem.

Janab, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Hi!

I am a Multi-Racial Muslim American. I have been raised majority of my life in Florida by both of my parents and 3 brothers. I served in the military of 8.5years (Coast Guard) as a first responder and part of an anti-terrorism group. I was one of the first females to be a part of a vertical delivery team (repelled from helicopters onto ships off shore) About 2 years from getting out I wanted to make some extra finances so I competed in a national competition in NY (which I did a car wash fundraiser to raise money to actually fly in and accommodations while on the trip. To my relief my entire military unit showed up and donated, needless to say within 2 hours I made more than enough).. I ended up placing 1st in 3 out of the 5 competitions. Long story long I came back signed with a couple of reps and worked as model for a bit in between being Active Duty Military. It’s funny because I remember working a fashion show and I just got of stage and the director of the show came up to me and said your phone rang…my lieutenant called and informed there was a Natural Disaster and I had to report ASAP to respond. I didn’t even finish the show they had my bags ready and a cab waiting and I left the show flew home to jump back in. Yes I was Active duty the entire time and my schedule was crazy 🙂 Did… but a year before getting out the military I started going to acting classes and loving it. So I bought my 1st property which I used as an Income Property and then I moved to California finished my degrees (Sociology, Criminology, and Liberal Arts), getting 2 business licenses and working strictly as an actress since:)..Oh and did I mention I became a mother as well 🙂 I never told anyone in the industry unit after I has hired that I was a mom because I didn’t want to NOT get hire because they didn’t think I could handle it. I wanted to show them what I could do first. I always wanted to Stay true to who I was… and stay true to my goals… no matter how complicated it could be. I was just recently the Feature on VH1’s Dear Mama for my past and present self. Through life I’ve had a lot of people who believed in me. I’ve been so appreciative of my experiences. I try to give back. I work with 3 charities. Between packing hunger packages to Tutoring Homeless children. And to be honest I don’t feel I’m doing enough. I have so many things on my bucket list that I feel I’m just beginning. I hope this helps. My life has been filled with so many ups and downs and honestly yesterday I was just saying that I have learned something from ALL of it! 🙂 .

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road, but I think that my obstacles have allowed me to grow as an individual. My parents were an interracial couple in a time that it’s wasn’t a NORM. My mother and I both wore a hijab at a time when that definitely wasn’t a norm. But to be fair I never grew up feeling like a victim (maybe once), but I SO appreciate the community I was raised in for being accepting to something they were ignorant to. I came from a family that worked for everything they have. Nothing was handed to us. I got a work permit at 15 to get to work. I had many obstacles from surviving…I remember when I moved to NY and I had no money left because I couldn’t start my job I had acquired for a couple more weeks and I was eating Pringles and Peanut Butter for a while because that’s all I had for food in my place and I was to prideful to call home for help. Saving money to only have my place broken into and all of my money stolen and having to start back over, finding a way to get a higher education, being told from an agent that the “Black thing wasn’t in (without asking me what my ethnicity was:)), to being told that that the job I was doing in the military was a “mans job”, to being told I couldn’t have a family while trying to be accomplished, to being told “I was too young to have a business when applying for permits”. Yrs. old to start working. …….I left home to pursue my life goals at 17. I moved to NY in a red tube top (FYI when I arrived in my Toyota Tercel it was snowing). I had $400 in my pocket I had saved that summer. It was gone in one day! I miss read the pricing for the place I was sharing. It was rough, but I had the time of my life as well. I can’t tell you how many times I had to start OVER again. I have been enrolled at over 6 colleges/universities. I had to reo so many credits because I was in a different state due to the military but I finally graduated with the degrees I set out for. In my first business I experienced Contractor fraud which I lost thousands of dollars to. Money that I spent years saving for. But I took it all in as a Challenge…and as annoying and frustrating challenges can be. I’ve taken a lot of positive away from them.

Janab Kareem – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am an Actress and the Business I have now is my Self as a Product. I also have my Business Actors1on1 which I mentor actors in growth in themselves in this industry. I am most proud that I have been able to LIVE and give 150Percent in my goals. I don’t think people have to choose. I told myself I have no problem when people defy themselves into one category..” a veteran, a doctor, a teacher”, but I am an Educated Veteran, Actress, Humanitarian, Mom, an Entrepreneur and I give 150% to all of them! Trust me when I tell you this. What sets me apart from others is that I have a story. I have gone through prejudices from all types (religion, race, sex, ageism), but have grown to have a positive and passionate love for people and life. I don’t want to live with any regrets. I am so proud that I didn’t let any of my accomplishments go to my head and I didn’t lose myself on the way.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I definitely don’t define success by financial means. I define success by what you have done for LIFE (people, animals, planet etc.). I believe I was a selfish person when I was younger, but through my life (especially after responding to victims in Natural Disasters that it showed me people at their most vulnerable and that your life could change at a blink of an eye) I became different mentally and humbled. None of my materialistic success define me… when I saved my first life and the lives that I have changed since then defy my success. I was taught that when you help someone of something don’t do it for recognition do it because it is the right thing. So to answer the question my success is off of what I have done for LIFE. All of my accomplishments all go back to one common denominator… helping or aiding a positive change in someone or somethings life. If it’s through volunteering, donations, or just leading by example.

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Image Credit:
Abbas Kareem
Zain Kareem
Hamza Bell
Evan Pohts
Aidan Davis
Lana Pohts
Michelle Loving
Janab Kareem
Ryan Pohts
Dora Kareem
Abdul Kareem

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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