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And I refuse to let myself give up because he never has.
His struggle has made me all too aware of how unfair the world can be.
While kids laughed at me accidentally saying “Hi my name’s Canada and I’m from Priscilla”, employers laughed at my father’s lengthy list of Togolese credentials.
Eventually, my Dad landed an entry level position, despite his PH. And, eventually, I became the best in my English class.
My dad lost this entry level position after 4 years.A first generation American and daughter of West African immigrants has been accepted to seven out of the eight schools in the Ivy League. I was always one of those people who was pretty cynical about watching people cry when they got accepted into colleges but I was definitely crying when I got all those college decisions. A lot of people told me I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I really couldn’t help it. When I was 8 years old the thing I loved most doing was speaking.Priscilla Samey, a future lawyer, talented musician and competitive speaker from Anoka, Minnesota, won places at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Penn and Cornell – as well as eight other of America’s top schools. Ironically, the main skill I lacked was speaking; a byproduct of leaving my prepubescent life behind and traveling 2,136.8 KM to learn a completely new language and start anew.By high school I was a regional speech champion and I had a wall of medals to prove it.I was at the top of my class and had a nearly perfect GPA; English was my strongest subject. Yaovi Remi Samey, to this day spends his nights working a low salary security job because no one will employ him, simply because of his accent.
It’s less of a direct impact of “I can’t afford this, I can’t afford that.” It’s more that you feel like you don’t have a chance at a lot of these schools.