Grew up in a military family, which led her to live in Germany, Ohio, New Jersey and Kansas in her youth.
Was a member of the track team and drama club during high school.
Planned on becoming a litigator before deciding she wanted to become a professional actor.
Studied at the Actor's Training Studio in New Jersey and the William Esper Studio in New York.
Drove across the U.S. to move to Los Angeles with only $2,000 to pursue her acting career.
Studied at Playhouse West in Hollywood upon moving to California.
In 2010, won the American Black Film Festival Star Project.
Won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Breakthrough Actor in 2012 and was nominated for the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Actress in a Motion Picture for her role as Ruby in Ava DuVernay's film Middle of Nowhere.
Appeared in Miu Miu's short film The Door alongside Gabrielle Union and Alfre Woodard as part of the fashion short-film series Women's Tales.
2013, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Female Lead: Nominee