His name is Charles. He is from Ghana. And this is his Story.
I was born healthy. However, at the age of 3 I got a disease called Polio. There were a lot of people catching it and dying. My mother took me to the doctor who gave me a shot which probably prevented death but left me crippled. I’ve been walking with crutches all my life.
I came to America a few years ago to get an education. However, I am not in school currently because I overstayed my visa. Now I am working to become legal so I could apply to school. After I finish school, I plan to go straight back to Africa. I don’t want to live in America.
Yes, education is much better in Africa but it’s also expensive. Here, in America, anyone can go to school. All you need is determination. I want to go to an university on the internet and get a free education.
With the education that I obtain, I would be able to help my people out more. I am the director of an non-government organization. With my organization and education background, I will be better off. My organization helps people with disabilities and those affected by disasters. It also has an orphanage, farming and tourism.
I aim to go to school for journalism and with a radio and TV background would be able to publicize my organization. I would like my organization to be between America and Ghana.
I remember as a little girl my mom would take my siblings and I to visit the sick and the elderly. We did not always want to go and most of the time were forced to give up our Saturdays to sing at someone’s sick-bed.
I remember one time we went to someone’s home who was so helpless. The person could not help themselves at all. You know how people thank God for the use of their limbs? Well, even though she had limbs, they were not in use. Also, there was a certain stench- I can still almost smell it- just by remembering this situation. But my mom did not once turn up her nose or leave any faster than she would have left a relative home. She stayed and spent time chatting and laughing.
I did not know then, but now I know that my mom was teaching us how to give and how to give freely. She taught us how to give expecting nothing in return. A lesson that not many people have. I have friends who don’t see the importance in volunteering or simply sharing.
Now as an assistant directress of the Holy Temple Church Radio Young Adult Choir and a member of the Holy Temple Church Radio Junior Choir I make an effort to visit the Saint Barnabas Nursing Home every time either choir attend (this is a picture of us on a Sunday). Going to visit the sick and lonely always makes my day go better. It’s something about doing good that makes you feel good.
I encourage you to find an outlet where you can do good and expect nothing in return.
So, I was about to snap her photo really quick but as she got closer I recognized her.
I knew I knew her and we were friends at Fordham but I couldn’t remember her name. So, I just stood her with my arms wide open and this funny look on my face!
Then she started laughing and we both started to laugh. It turns out we work in the same area! New York is so big yet so small.
(Not only did Karilyn remember me but she remembered my name…Gosh, I didn’t know I was that bad with names!)
Before I go, Just wanted to point out that the umbrella in the background matches her jewelry.
I always wanted to take a picture of Elba wearing her cowgirl hat but yesterday I actually asked. It turns out Elba was so friendly we spoke for a while about her growing up in Manhattan, her mom moving from Puerto Rico and how she came to name her dog ‘Gizmo’ (She got his name from the movie Gremlins).
She is the second person I asked to photograph and in response said- “Someone need to photograph you!” For some reason, I like when I hear that.
She also told me she will be rooting for me when I become famous.
When I complimented her on her cowgirl hat she said- “I’m telling you, I’m a cowgirl!”