The following is written by Tomiko herself!
I was born a poor black child….just kidding. 🙂
I was born and raised in Las Vegas and moved away when I was 18 to go to college.
I was in school with a full ride music scholarship (play piano, saxophone and clarinet).
The scholarship was for the clarinet even though I couldn’t believe I could get a scholarship for an instrument I didn’t really like all that much. lol.
After 3 years of school, I decided to take a break.
I had a very strict upbringing and decided I wanted to see some of the world.
I had always been a good student, but I felt like I wasn’t taking school seriously enough and wasting money. I traveled around quite a bit and worked in a job that was flexible as well as good paying. This allowed me to travel quite a bit. I found myself at one point aimless with no goals and felt like perhaps I needed to get grounded again ,so I moved back to base camp (Las Vegas).
Always being goal oriented, I couldn’t stand the fact that I had not finished school, so I decided to go back to UNR and get my degree in teaching (what I had studied before). I finished and got my degree, and I have to tell you. It was a very emotional time for me.
My softy self cried at my graduation, because I was able to complete my goal, and despite the discouragement I received from so many people that I would never finish, I did! I taught for 2 years and realized I hated it.
I have the most respect for teachers and think they are so underpaid.
I just realized that it was not for me.
I kind of march to the beat of my own drum.
At 29 I decided that I was going to become a fire fighter.
I had all the materials together and was going to go to a seminar.
The guy in my life at the time, talked me out of it, and I am so thankful he did.
At the time, I thought he was being ridiculous.
He told me that I should be a model.
Realistically, I saw my age and my height being a major factor of why I wouldn’t be able to do so, but it was something that I secretly always wanted to do.
I humored him and was immediately picked up by an agent.
I told him that if I were to go for this, I was going to give it my all…110%.
In my case, it was more like 150%.