Adenike (Nikki) Adebiyi - She /Her
Founder of Bounce Black
Adenike (Nikki) Adebiyi is the Founder of Bounce Black. She launched the platform in 2020 to inspire and equip young Black professionals to pursue a holistic legacy by healing while hustling. Bounce Black creates a safe space for young Black people who are navigating building careers alongside recovery from adversity. Through curated articles, podcasts and resources, Bounce Black aims to support Black students and professionals to break cycles of intergenerational trauma and struggle, smashing artificial and systemic ceilings along the way, and leaving holistic legacies for future generations. Nikki is also a published writer with articles featured in Freuds, the Journal of Mental Health, and Lancet Psychiatry. Among the many other hats Nikki wears are keynote speaker, mental health accessibility consultant, UN Women UK Delegate, 70/30 Campaign Ambassador and Creative Mentor Network Ambassador. Previously, Nikki has worked in publishing, policy, media and tech-for-good, and she is currently pursuing qualification as a lawyer.
Please tell us about your career
I am drawn to the legal industry for the same reason I am to social entrepreneurship. I see them both as a vehicle for change and for empowerment. Knowledge of one’s rights and legal procedure can double as prevention and cure for injustice and oppression. I am especially interested in employment law as work makes up a large portion of our lives, so it is imperative to be equipped with legal know-how to support flourishing and overcome obstacles to development and social mobility.
I got legal experience through my network, both by referral and word of mouth. As for social entrepreneurship, that came to me naturally from my desire to make a difference based on my lived experience, but other entrepreneurs inspired me in terms of the practical knowledge to get my ideas off the ground.
The decision to pursue a legal career is itself significant because it is a dream I shelved and almost gave up on due to struggles with mental health. However, I feel the strong call to live my brand, so picking back up where I left off with my legal career aspirations is my way of “bouncing black”. I feel grateful. I haven’t made it yet, but I didn’t even think I would make it this far. I’m finding the journey itself fulfilling and inspiring, so I can’t yet imagine how I will feel when I’ve reached those key milestones ahead. I hope that whatever I put my hands to, I do it well. I hope that my work has positive impact and reaches the people and places that matter.
Do you feel that your job/industry is a good fit for an ND woman?
Absolutely. Neurodivergents bring a lot to the table in general, but especially in the legal profession and/or social entrepreneurship, where lateral thinking and innovative problem-solving is a must-have skill. We are used to making a way where there is no way, which is why we can thrive in the things we put our minds to as long as we have the right support to facilitate that.
How has being Neurodivergent shaped the direction of your career?
It's made me creative and entrepreneurial because although I didn't learn I was neurodivergent until early adulthood, I've always had to find my own ways to learn and achieve as the systems in place to facilitate that did not work for me. This has made me a resilient person who is determined to succeed regardless of any obstacles or setbacks.
What advice would you give to another Neurodivergent woman navigating their way through life?
Seek diagnosis if you can because sometimes having a label for something helps you understand it and find others who are living with similar struggles to bond with and learn from. Go to therapy and look after your wellbeing, confide in trustworthy people. Above all, reframe how you think about your struggles. Sometimes the things we believe will hold us back or make us inferior to others are the very things that can bring us to where we want to be. The way your brain works doesn't have to be a burden, it can be a blessing if you play to your strengths and pay attention to the skills you put to work at improving your weaknesses.
People fear or ridicule what they do not understand. Being discriminated against comes with the territory, but so does strength, stamina and fierce determination. Lean into it. That's where your power is found.