In this first episode of TBY Talks, a foursome of friends waxed eloquent on the topic of Overcoming Obstacles. We felt it a timely topic as we collectively weather a global pandemic, social unrest, a historic election, and much more. TBY Co-Owners Julia Jonson and Andrew Gurvey had an enlightening conversation with TBY student Kadi Petridis and her fiancé Dr. Willie Underwood (bios below!). We hope this complimentary episode touches your life in some way. 

Kadi Petridis

Kadi Petridis was born in Bamako, Mali, to a black Malian mother and a white American father who served in the Peace Corps in Liberia for several years. He then moved to Mali to continue his volunteer work, where he met and married Kadi’s mother.  When she was two years old, her parents, sisters and brothers moved to her father’s hometown of Denver, Colorado. Kadi cultivated a strong work ethic from an early age and eventually graduated from the Northwestern University School of Communication. While she was in school, she experienced an unplanned pregnancy yet finished school on time. Kadi is mom to two daughters. She is also a Senior Director in Pfizer’s Oncology division, where she leads a group of account managers. Kadi says she loves getting to know a person’s history, stating that rich and authentic conversations are incredibly nourishing for more introverted personalities like her own. Kadi is a longtime yoga student who has a lovely, easy demeanor. We are happy to have Kadi as a guest blogger for TBY. We know you’ll benefit from her musings on Finding Joy in Adversity 

Dr. Willie Underwood

Dr. Willie Underwood, III, M.D., MS, MPH,  grew up in Gary, Indiana. Willie describes himself as born eager to learn and aspired to be a doctor from an early age. Yet, during his freshman year at William Wirt High School, Willie’s Social Studies teacher told him it was pointless for her to answer his questions since he was destined for jail by the time he was 19. Like many other teachers, this teacher made it clear that he was not worth her time to educate. Despite being immersed in a harmful school system, Willie became a board-certified urologist with 20 years of experience as a surgeon. Willie is a member of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees and an expert in health care disparities and health care policy.  Willie is a clinician-scientist, entrepreneur and positive social change agent.  Willie shares his passion for helping people by speaking out about racial inequality. With his work in social-activism, Willie believes that meaningful conversations now can lead to more equitable practices and lasting changes in the future.