In the Spotlight

Mari Kris Fulk

What makes you YOU?

I’m a Filipino immigrant who grew up in Queens, NY, so while I’ve lived in the United States for almost three decades, I still honor the Filipino culture and traditions. I marry the traditional

voices of my parents with American thinking. Sometimes they clash and it can be a difficult

thing trying to find my own identity and forge a path that my parents may not understand. As a

person, I’m a caretaker, which is something I am only now realizing as I look back on my life.

I’m also (still) a dreamer and an artist. If you see my index finger moving while I’m staring at

something, I’m sketching it in my imagination.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my accomplishments and my ability to pivot in life. As a child, we didn’t have

a lot so I knew I had to rely on myself to get into college. I’m the first in my immediate family to

finish a degree. I worked three jobs when I was a freshman in the Fashion Institute of

Technology in NYC, but my fashion design aspirations stopped when 9/11 happened and I joined the Navy shortly after. Now, as a Navy veteran, an art degree graduate, and a professional photographer, I am very proud of the life I have lived, as both a woman and a creative, and can’t wait to see who I will become and what I will do in the next twenty years.

What keeps you going when things are tough?

I realize that I am a terrible optimist, but I also rely on perseverance and determination to get

through the tough times. My children, now, are what drives me to do the best I can and to also be kind to myself knowing that I’m doing the very best I can. It’s important for me that they see that second part as well because I would want them to live life being kind to themselves.

What keeps you up at night?

My worries are always about my family. I’m at that age now where I take care of my elderly dad

along with my young children. I’m thankful for my husband and his family for all the help

they’ve given me, through my stepmother’s death from cancer several years ago and now with

my dad’s healing from a heart attack and consequent triple bypass surgery he’d suffered last year.

Britney Dent


What makes you YOU?

All of my flaws combined with my successes make me who I am. My unique upbringing as a small-town girl, a big sister, and preacher’s kid coupled with my maturity, faith, resilience, and growth over the last 33 years make me the one and only Britney Dent.  My turquoise glasses and my loud voice stand out, too.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of publishing my first book during the pandemic while maintaining sanity and safety in my household this past year and a half, and the fact that my book is a number one best-seller makes me really proud!

What keeps you going when things are tough?

When things are tough my faith and family keep me going and my therapist helps me through. I focus on Galatians 6:9 as part of my faith along with personal affirmations and the cliche my dad said growing up: “Life is a cycle of battles and blessings.” My husband supports me and my children look up to me so I remain hopeful.

What keeps you up at night?

Not much literally keeps me up late at night but before falling asleep, I constantly think about inequities in education, housing, and employment, then what my plans are for the next day. I think of what else I can do to help someone.



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