I was born on March 27th and am an African American Albino from the south Bronx. My childhood was full of many obstacles. Our neighborhood was tough and many kids dropped out of school early causing graduation rates from our public schools to be extremely low. As a child with Albinism I had to learn to adapt quickly to my environment because I wasn’t looked there were not many people that looked like me. For high school I decided to attend the New Design High School in the Lower East Side of Manhattan New York. It was there that I found a great appreciation for Art and Design as well realizing my own talents & gifts. The school taught me the process of seeing projects through to completion.
During high school, I did a photo shoot for Adidas and Bathing Ape that expanded my mind wider than ever before. I realized that the reflection in the mirror that I woke up and saw, regardless of all of the stares people gave me every day, was far from a curse. I started to see that being an Albino was a blessing. With my confidence boosted, I started interning at the Metropolitan Museum in the education department during my junior year of High School. I continue to work in the museum from time to time since graduating. In June 2015, I started work as a Credible Messenger for an organization called Community Connections For Youth. My job is to help facilitate various groups in the system, on subjects ranging from empowering youth to make better life choices, impacting life changes and better conscious decisions regarding the law, as well as the rights as a citizen in NY.Cool things to know about me:
- For Middle School I attended MS45 Stars Prep Academy in Harlem, NY.
- I attended New Design High School in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY.
- In my junior year of high school, at 16 years old, I was cast as a model for Adidas + Bathing Ape by a photographer named Ari Marcopoulos.
- I am a singer and song writer. Most of my music is about my life or lessons I have learned being a Bronx native, African American and having Albinism.
- Margaret Bowland, painted 4 oil portraits of me that were featured at Driscoll Babcock Gallery on NY.
- Sept. 2015, I was selected as a model & walked in New York Walk Fashion Week on behalf of the Courageous Faces Foundation and Fashion Designer Greg Gaten Taylor.
- I am starting my own business where I plan to lead my peers by example.
- Through my business I want to uplift & encourage others dealing with discouragement or difficulties.
- I want to inspire others to make better life choices.
Quote by Juss B. ~ “You can achieve anything you want as long as you’re passionate about it and take the necessary steps toward the goal you’re trying to accomplish “.Important things I want you to know about Albinism:
- Albinism is characterized by little or no melanin/pigmentation in the skin.
- Having albinism has affected me more positively than negatively, but maybe that’s just because I’m so optimistic and I see the good aspects in any situation.
- I choose to be a bit blinded to some of the negative ways Albinism and others attitudes have affected me.
- Continually, people stop me on the street to offer me modeling opportunities, or to just simply compliment my style or beauty. So if you have a difference, find the beauty in it & others will see it too.
- Don’t make assumptions or stereotype people with a difference such as Albinism, race or descent. Get to know us first.