Imagine a mass of positive energy with a smile. Now, imagine this force assisting you when you go fill your prescription. She takes her time to explain to you the astute details of a medication you probably would not otherwise understand while being patient and kind. When you leave you feel lighter, more informed, and you have sparkles floating around you. You get back into your car, and question where did this cloud of glow come from and why are you now more giddy than when you first arrived. I imagine that is what it’s like to be attended by Raven, excuse me, Dr. Scales. It is the same woman who in this post is going to share ways to protect your peace, Raeki, along with her journey to and through pharmacy school, and becoming a managing pharmacist.
Protect- verb| keep safe from harm or injury.Google Definitions
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“Hey, I’m just getting home. I’ll log on the call right now,” she says with all of the enthusiasm and all of the brightness of the sun. We later join google meet, and our conversation is fluid. We speak as if we’ve known each other for years, but that is not the case. It’s only been a few, but every time I’m near her, I feel closer to joy. When I first met Raven, my initial impression was, “she is really happy.”
Quite frankly, I’ve never seen anything different, nor have I ever met anyone like her. Always bubbly with life, she makes it a point to enter every space with a positive vibe. And she succeeds. She’s consistently joyful and willing to have fun. I was instantly inspired, not solely by her sunny disposition, but also by the success she garners, ambition, and pure love of life that fills me with the urge to take action.
who is Raven Scales?
While Raven initially dazzles you with her optimistic energy, she recognizes and participates in the grind necessary to see her dreams unfold into reality and her goals in the flesh. Born in Winston-Salem, NC, but raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she accrued a sense of adventure as well as an immunity to fear. She moved back to North Carolina to spend her formative years learning discipline, structure, and stability.
Raven prides herself in being an Aggie, North Carolina A&T State University Alumna. Here she graduated with a degree in Chemistry. A degree, she says was not easy to come by. Consequently, her peers often rave about her photographic memory and relentless commitment to studying. After her time was over at A&T, she began to nurture her interest in pharmacy, and attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University where she earned her doctorate.
Since graduating with her pharmacy degree, Raven has been navigating and elevating in the pharmaceutical industry. Her ascension has not come without new realizations. “I want more control over my life. I want to do this in a non-profit way, but I’ll get there,” she says. Most people say such things, but Raven, true to form, has since taken action by starting a skincare line and lifestyle brand with longtime friend and colleague, Kadijah Chesson.”Raeki Rx is more than just a skincare line that’ll help you achieve flawless glowing skin. Raeki Rx is a way of life. It’s all about channeling good energy and vibes that’ll help you glow inside out,” she shares.
As evident by her example, for Raven, living a joyful life is about taking chances, being fearless, and protecting your peace. Raven believes in experiencing all life has to offer, one adventure at a time, going for your goals, and meditating the time in between.
For this installment of “Herstory”, I had the chance to speak with Raven Scales about how she got to where she is and what inspires her to keep climbing. Below we discussed her journey conquering pharmacy school, learning discipline, her drive, and the importance of self-care.
Beingclassicbritney: Describe where you were when you decided you wanted to be a pharmacist.
I was in high school when I made this decision. That was like the first time I actually realized what I wanted to do. I was in a YMCA program called “Black Achievers,” and they use to have people from different careers come to present. There was a presentation from a pharmacist, and I thought, “I never thought about that.” I had to be a senior in high school. I was about 16, or 17. I graduated high school at 17.
It was so weird though because I always wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be a pediatrician, but I changed my mind. I went to school at Campbell. Then, I transferred to A&T. I was going back and forth about my career path up until my junior year in undergrad. I still applied to medical school. When I didn’t get in, I applied to FAMU, and got accepted right away. I still think, “what if I was never in Black Achievers?” The exposure guided me. I never heard about pharmacy until then.
How would you describe your background?
“It was a struggle.” I feel like, if you didn’t ever have to worry about lights being on, heat, food, I feel like you didn’t struggle. For me there were plenty of times. I felt like me and my brother raised each other. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother to death, she’s just a free spirit, single parent, who was trying to live her life too while me and my brother were living ours. I didn’t have to tell her where I was going.
Girl, I had a MARTA pass and I knew how to get around Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta from second grade though tenth grade. I moved with my grandparents the summer before 11th grade. That’s where I learned discipline, and it was a challenge. But that’s why I know how to be in the streets, and I know how to be in the house too.
Why do you think learning discipline was a struggle for you? Is it still?
I didn’t understand it. It was something new. For example, when I moved to North Carolina, I was ready to walk about the door and mind my business, then my Grandma asked me where I was going? Who are they’re parents? Where do they live? Come to think of it I was 15 years old, not understanding why my Grandparents were asking me all these questions. Because you’re 15, that’s why.
The discipline instilled in me by my grandparents made me develop a sense of awareness. When I moved in with my grandparents, I wasn’t afraid of anything. I wasn’t afraid to walk out at night by myself, nor did I ever flinch, but I think that’s necessary. I realized I did need to have structure. It’s a number of ways their discipline challenged me. I got more family influence instead of friend influence. Having more friend influence was just the blind leading the blind. We didn’t know anything. Though, I still consider those Atlanta days some of the best in my life to date.
Do you think your mom passing on a free spirit was a good thing?
I think it was a great thing. It is because of her, I am who I am today. She raised us to be free thinkers and let us choose who we wanted to be. I never felt any judgement from her. My brother and I always have been like feathers in the wind. My mom treated us as equal no matter what decisions we made in life. Yea, I have a doctorate now, but I can go be a janitor tomorrow, and my mom would still be proud of me. She wants us to be happy, just like what she wanted for herself. Because of her, I never felt pressured to be anything or do anything, and I appreciate that. I just had to live and do right by others.
How would you describe your experience in pharmacy school?
I had a great experience in pharmacy school. Pharmacy school was where I left the nest. I was at Campbell my first year which is two hours away from home.Then I went to A&T, that’s 30 minutes away from home. My first year of pharmacy school, I was 10 hours away from family and friends, and on a new journey. My childhood dream was to live in Florida near the beach, and I achieved that my first year of pharmacy school. And that’s crazy. I used to think “I met that dream real fast.” I used to just go the beach and study.
FAMU’s pharmacy program in Crestview, Florida was a satellite campus. I realized I wanted to be more involved with the main campus, so after my first year, I moved to Tallahassee, Florida to seek bigger opportunities. There, I joined pharmacy organizations, began doing research projects, networked with professors, and hung out with more classmates regularly. Also, Tallahassee also had some of the best food spots I ever had.
What was the most challenging thing about pharmacy school?
Pharmacy school wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be, and I believe it was because of me being a chemistry major at A&T. The lack of family and loved ones near me was the biggest challenge I had until some of my classmates turned into my newfound family. As I reflect, I learned there were a lot of different avenues a pharmacist could take, so I had trouble deciding what exactly I wanted to do. I met that challenge by making the most of any opportunity that came my way.
Name the top lessons you learned from your experiences. This could be in pharmacy school, undergrad, or even as a child.
Top lesson. Do what makes you happy. I’m a person who does not like to hurt people. I’m the type of person who will jeopardize my feelings, just to not hurt someone else. Lesson number two. Stop holding stuff in. I hate confrontation, but I need to be able to speak what’s on my mind. Holding things in is not healthy. Number three, protect your peace. This is a newfound thing.
How do you create mental peace, or protect your peace?
Mediation. Mediation to me means clearing your mind. Being present in the moment. Listening to your breath. Acknowledging thoughts coming by, but not interacting with them. Just being still. Clearing your mind is the best way I can describe it. I process and reset, but I do that best when I wake up. Also, taking more time for myself. Journaling, fitness, and reflection also help me maintain serenity in my life.
When did you realize you could “meet” your dreams?
Living in Florida was the first consistent dream I had as a child. The thought that you can be anything you wanted to be didn’t come until I became a pharmacist. When you’re in school you don’t have to the time to disconnect and think about what you want to do. I know dreams can come true, but you need time to think and connect with them.
What inspires you?
When I have kids, I don’t want them to go through what I went through as a kid. That is my driving force. Also, a lot of people inspire me for different things. My mom inspires me because of her free spirit. My grandma inspires me because the whole community just loves my grandma. She has a peaceful aura. Of course the Black CEOs. Black business owners. Supermoms inspire me. But what drives me was the struggle that I never wanted to go through again.
What drives my motivation in pharmacy is my community. They do not have the same access to healthcare as other, more developed, communities. They don’t have someone explaining their mediation and distrust the healthcare system so much they rather go without. I understand these underrepresented communities. They trust me in knowing I want the best for them because I have been in their shoes. People just come in here and take stuff without really understanding. So being able to fill that gap in my community warms by heart. Being able to connect with people. I love my community. I think about them all the time.
What advice would you give to a woman trying to pursue her dreams?
I would tell her to get a planner and a journal, and I would teach her how to meditate. I would say write those goals out. Think about the steps she needs to take. Ask her to question what resources she needs and challenge her to go out and find it. I would also say get a mentor. Stay consistent and never give up, and do not forget to pray. You’ll end up shocking yourself.
What do you want readers to know about Raeki?
Raeki is the product of two ambitious women who met at freshman orientation in college. Since day one the two young ladies connected on so many levels. They both realized they had the same aspirations along with similar distractions that could prevent them from achieving their goals. Since connecting in college the two have always motivated and pushed each other to be their best self and overcome life’s trials and tribulations.
10 years later Raven Scales (Rae) and Kadijah Chesson (Ki), are now in the pharmaceutical industry slowly elevating to the top. Though successful in their careers, they have found a new passion. They spent a few years brainstorming on how to start a business and turn their ideas into a reality.
On August 3rd, 2020, RaekiRx Skincare was born with the filing of the LLC. Raeki Rx is more than just a skincare line that’ll help you achieve flawless glowing skin. Raeki Rx is a way of life. It’s all about channeling good energy and vibes (like in the practice of Reiki) that’ll help you glow inside out.
Present day, the two women are working on reaching their target audience and brainstorming what will take their business to the next level. The two women hope to rebuild the confidence of individuals who may be impacted by the appearance of their skin by addressing blemishes and prescribing a whole new glow. They also hope to be an inspiration to other women by sharing their stories and starting a non- profit. The ultimate end goal is for everyone to catch the glow.
what’s happening now?
You can catch Raven growing her skincare line as well as her career. She’ll be off on a new adventure when she’s not nurturing her community with pharmaceutical education. In any case, you will catch her with a smile and a sunny shine.
find Raven on IG.
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