On October 1, 2009, I presented to students at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. I shared many of my life’s experiences with them: my days in Sierra Leone until I was forced to relocate to The Gambia as a refugee at aged 13, how I coped with my new environment, and my journey to the U.S.
I also shared with them how turning around bitter memories of war into something positive played a highly instrumental role to my personal and intellectual development, thereby encouraging them to as well develop a sense of inner-self belief that they can do great things, as well as make a significant and life-changing difference in a troubled world.
I was deeply impressed at the responses I got from these highly energized students from different ethnic backgrounds in a packed hall, who graciously received
my message in good faith, asking essential questions; and, for some, the message serving as a wake-up call, re-igniting a dormant/uninspiring spirit—that if not nurtured into something positive soon could be a hindrance to one’s development—and turning it into something that could sparkle a blazing flame of hope.
I was touched when students came up to me after my presentation thanking me, and telling me how much impact my presentation had on them, basically empowering them to start thinking positively and believing that they can do anything they set out for themselves.
That’s the world I really do envision, to inspire others so that we can all think positively and work collectively to empower others and effect change. Nothing impresses me more than seeing youngsters, as myself, making a difference, or, at least, making an effort. The future of tomorrow, which ultimately lies in our hands and the decisions we make today, is bright. We will be held accountable for our actions.
Special thanks go to the Lehigh University Global Union for extending an invitation for me to speak to students.
Big thank you go to the following persons for making my one-night experience at Lehigh University a fruitful one: Dr. Stephen Antalics (Visiting Scientist), Dr. Bill Hunter (Director Global Union; Lehigh University/United Nations Partnership), and Mr. Calvin Reed (Graduate Assistant & Global Union Executive).