Dionne Robinson Shares her Journey from the Classroom to the Catwalk

Pedestal Professionals is a weekly spotlight series on our blog that highlights Black women entrepreneurs who are forging new paths in their respective fields.

Meet this week’s Pedestal Professional, Dionne Robinson, Former Special Education teacher turned model/actress. Hailing from the small town of Columbus, MS, Dionne has taken the New York City fashion and entertainment scene by storm. Armed with an arsenal of endless talent, Dionne is well on her way to cementing her legacy, one runway at a time.  We had a chance to chat with Dionne to learn more about her journey!

Thanks for joining us on the Pedestal, Dionne! Can you share with our readers how you got started?
Well, I don’t have your typical model/actress “this is how I got started” story. But I guess, who does?! Modeling and acting was something I would only daydream about as a kid. Something I always thought about but never told a soul! I’m not sure if it was because I was a little shy as a young girl or being from Mississippi and not having a lot of opportunity. But I was determined! I made a promise to myself at a very young age that I would pursue it one day. I moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2013 and began modeling. The rest has been history! I currently reside in NYC, and I am actively pursuing modeling and acting!

Tell us about your educational journey.
Education was very important in my household. My parents instilled in my siblings and me the importance of a good education so that was very important to me as well. I was also passionate about teaching children with special needs. So I decided to pursue an elementary and special education degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. I graduated in the Fall of 2012. I then went on to teach moderate special education for three years in Atlanta. I am currently part-time employed with New York Public Schools. I get the opportunity to go into the classrooms in Washington Heights and South Bronx. It is still a very rewarding experience!

WalterMendez1 - Dionne Michelle Robinson
Photo Credit: GettyImages/Kommersant Photo

What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?
The most rewarding part about being an entertainer/performer is to help people forget about their current situations, feelings, etc and just enjoy the show! Or even just the moment!

The most rewarding part about being a teacher is to know or feel like you were able to help your students get to the next step.

Did you encounter any challenges along your journey? If so, how did you overcome them? 
Challenges?! What are those?! I don’t even consider them challenges anymore; I’ve had so many! I’ve had challenges that people would never think I had, by just looking at me. But by the grace of God is really all I can say! When I honestly stopped worrying and walked with God, is when I started overcoming “challenges”.

IMG_20180911_193450_532In your opinion, what is unique about being a professional Black Woman?
How we can switch it up on you!

What’s your personal mantra? 
I always tell myself to lead with love and a smile!

What’s one piece of advice you would give to aspiring Black women professionals and entrepreneurs? 
Self care, love and discovery is all you need!

nd9E1BDEC1-C376-7D83-1C2892E6F2D56D6CHow can people learn more about your products, services, and/or journey?
I currently have been updating people using my social media (IG: @dionnemichelle_). However, I am working on a website to display my updates! Look for it soon!

Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I will be making my Off Broadway debut this coming January in Ray Aranha’s award winning play, My Sister, My Sister! It will be at the HB Playwright Theatre!




If you, or someone you know, would like to be featured in Pedestal Professionals, please complete the form in the “Connect” section or email us at pedestalprojectorg@gmail.com.

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