There are moments in every person’s life that define them. Moments that shape them and provide the necessary drive to overcome and achieve feats that seem insurmountable to most. These remarkable individuals are part of an elite chosen few. And Dawn Dai is one of them.
Before she could ever comprehend the meanings behind pain, loss and struggle, Dawn Dai had to face them all. Born in Detroit, Dawn learned the harshest of life lessons before she could even walk when her father, an officer with the Detroit police department, died suddenly from an undiagnosed blood clot, leaving her mother to raise a 3 month old Dawn and her 3-year-old sister alone. “My mother raised my sister and I. She made sure we attended the best schools, made sure we remained active throughout our youth and nurtured us to have a strong relationship with God.”
The start to her life was rocky, but it was never a deterrent. Born with an innate ability to speak to and interact with people from all backgrounds, Dawn spent her early years starring in leading roles in her school plays, active in sports and as President of her student council. She took to heart a lesson given to her by an eighth grade teacher, “I make myself what I am.” Little did she know life had a lesson of its own to teach her and it would come in the form of finding out her mother was diagnosed with cancer.
Tragedy of this magnitude would’ve broken most, but Dawn made sure she used her struggles as fuel to push her forward. In high school Dawn excelled, participating in her school’s student council, forensics team and theatre arts program. She also worked for SCOOP, a program geared towards Detroit youth interested in communications careers which was funded by the Cable Communications Commission. At SCOOP Dawn produced PSAs, developed voiceover skills and was even awarded a college scholarship for one of her projects. It was around this time that Dawn began to get a sense for her true passion, but it was a guest during a special assembly at her high school that would help her to go for it 100 percent. During the assembly the guest, a motivational speaker, spoke to the crowd about making proper life choices, his messages rang loud and clear to Dawn. It was at that moment she knew that she wanted to use her God-given gift of word to uplift other people. The message couldn’t have come at a better time. Life had another blow to dish out. Dawn’s mother was now battling cancer for a second time.