Ralph Clouden – Passionate About Life and People and Being The Best He Can Be
SVT: Where did you grow up and when did you arrive here in the Bay Area?
RC: I was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in St.Vincent & the Grenadines. I came to the Bay Area in the fall of 1997.
SVT: Where did you go to High School? Did you have any particular courses in school and interests outside of school you enjoyed most?
RC: I attended Wilcox HS in Santa Clara & I remember my art and English classes being the most enlightening.
SVT: Where are you now in college, what are you studying and what would like to be and do after you graduate?
RC: I will be a transferring junior at SFSU in the fall where I will be studying digital marketing and business.
SVT: Apart from school, tell us about your work experience … what are you doing and enjoying now?
RC: I work at a menswear retailer in San Francisco, Purist Boutique, where I’m focused on marketing and have been for the past 3 years & I’m a part of the Lyfe Kitchen team in Palo Alto.
SVT: What is it in school and at work that you have enjoyed most and are excited about?
RC: Meeting new people every day, and gaining insight from everything around me. The flexibility of exploring my interests in school really encouraged me to find and create my own path.
At the beginning I wanted to become an urban planner and design sustainable environments. Growing up in the Caribbean, you had this very visceral and tangible connection to nature. You lived off the land. Those experiences shape the vision for the future I’d hope to create here.
SVT: What would you recommend to younger aspiring students as they wonder what may be best for them?
RC: That’s a tough question. I would say that academics, career, and future planning in itself are not about getting it right the first time around. Try your hardest, give it your best shot and take a lesson away from every misstep. Invest in yourself.
SVT: Do you have particular special interests now? Do you like to read, do you exercise, do you have favorite books, movies and music?
RC: In my free time I like to read. This year I’m learning how to write code and diving into graphic design, they are just hobbies for now to later bolster my major.
SVT: Who are some of your role models? Who are some of the people in your life who have inspired you most?
RC: There are a few people in my life I respect tremendously for their passion and commitment to staying true to themselves.
SVT: Who in history would you like to have met or currently would like to meet?
RC: Steve Jobs, he was an brilliant visual artist. His vision and attention to detail reshaped how we engaged with the world around us and connected to one another.
SVT: You are a vegetarian … when and how did this come about? Do you enjoy it and how has it had a change for you in your life?
RC: This change happened a number of years ago while studying environmental science. I learned about the great impact that the meat industry had on the planet and decided to participate in leaving a smaller footprint on the planet. I do enjoy it, It definitely pushed me to learn how to cook for myself and in turn becoming fully conscious of everything I eat.
SVT: What drives you?
RC: Growing up I’ve always been disadvantaged, whether academically or economically, and at a young age I promised myself to do better and create a promising and stable future. Not knowing my father and being a sole provider for so long matured me fast.
De Anza College
Purist Boutique / Lyfe Kitchen