I would say, do what makes you happy. People will discourage you (not always intentional). Some people can only envision life from their view of the world. You have your own! Follow that!

Who is Radhia?

My name is Dr. Radhia Afif and I am from Philly. I am a Licensed Behavior Specialist by job title and an advocate by heart. I currently hold 4 degrees (1 PhD, 2 MS, and 1 BS). I am an entrepreneur previously running my own daycare center. In addition to those titles I am an author and business owner. I released my first book in this year (2019) and started my organization Girls Retreat in 2018.



Educational Background

-PhD in Human Services: Family Studies and Intervention Strategies

-MS in Criminal Justice: Applied Behavior Analysis

-BS in Recreational Therapy

-Trained to complete Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA)

-Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment (VB Mapp) for children with Autism


How did you choose to pursue this field?

After completing my first internship, working with children in a psychiatric facility, and seeing their needs I knew I wanted to work with children.



Who was your inspiration or role model that guided you to this field?

My mother didn’t guide me to the field but she was my inspiration. I watched her work hard and never complained. She always went after what she wanted with no regrets.


Did you always have the desire to work in this field? If not, what was your intended field? Why did you change careers?

I did not always have the desire to work with children. I wanted to be a medical doctor but changed my mind when I saw all the science classes I needed to take. Low and behold several years later I became a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).


What do you love most about your job or career?

I love that I can share my knowledge and experiences with others as a tool to help them grow as individuals.


What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job or career?

Seeing children and families make progress and improving their quality of life.

What things would you change about your job?

I would change the fact that my work is rooted in being reactive. Services are initiated when problems occur as opposed to before problems occur. I’d like to see more work done in the community.



What are the most difficult things or disappointing aspect of your job?

My job is difficult when people are not ready to make a change. It’s hard for me to do my job when people are not willing to try new behavior or learn new skills.


How have you combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM?

I make sure that I am professional in the way I dress, speak, and engage with others while working. I am also clear in my practices that I am knowledgeable about my work and demonstrate that while working with children and families. I keep my head held high and show that I am confident in my abilities.




What advice would you give your younger self about your career journey as a “woman of color” working in a predominantly white, male-dominated field?

I would tell myself to “be more confident” and to “take up space”. I have not always felt equal in working environments or learning environments but I am. I belong where I am because of my hard work!




Can you provide some words of wisdom to young ladies thinking about entering a STEM field as a career choice?

I would say, do what makes you happy. People will discourage you (not always intentional). Some people can only envision life from their view of the world. You have your own! Follow that!




What is your favorite quote?


Whose joy is it?”


I apply this because my joy belongs to me. I don’t let people or circumstances steal my joy. If I’m having a bad moment I recognize it, identity a solution, and make a choice to move forward.

How has your family been a great influence or support system?

My family has always been super supportive of me. Whatever I have wanted to do in life they have been my cheerleaders. I call my mother for everything, she is my consultant!


What are your future goals related to your career?

I would love to open a non profit center to include a range of activities and resources for people in my community,

What are some interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share?

I love to write poetry and have been writing since 4th grade.



Follow Dr. Radhia:


IG: the.behaviorist

Contact Radhia for any further questions:

Email: brainybabies0@gmail.com



We hope you enjoyed learning about our latest “STEMsation”, please comment about how her experiences have inspired you, how your experiences can inspire others and nominate our next “STEMsation to spotlight their amazing accomplishments.

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