Return to Paradise

I was born and raised in Ivory Coast of West Africa, and my experiences there have left an imprint on my view of the world and how I value education. From the time I reached the appropriate age to start attending school to now, my family has placed a premium on learning for its intrinsic worth and usefulness. I can recall as my parent would say, “My daughter, your only responsibility is to get a good education, that’s all we ask of you.” It is not hard to see why they regard education so highly and I appreciated their logic at a very early age. Ivory Coast, defined as a Less Developed Country (LDC), also led my parents to lead a better life, for me, one that they and I would look at with pride. They sacrificed for me. I often wondered how this poor family could pay to send their child to school, pay for transportation, books, uniforms, when they themselves were at the edge of subsistence. In my parent’s faith, determination, and hope, I found the answer.   In the Ivory Coast, education was a “luxury,” but for me, it was a necessity. It defined an essential part of being human. I grew up in a fighting society, in which many people knew only the physical measure and value of being human.
During my first semester at Washington Irving High School, I took advantage of various opportunities available to me. As a student I was encourage by teachers and faculty member to pursue a degree in acting. My extracurricular activities, coupled with academic influences inspired me to dive deeper into to my studies of business. I have always been afraid of pursing a degree in business, because growing up and coming from a third world country my family and parents expected us to be doctors and lawyers. Business was considered for the weak and did not promise money that will help my family crisis. Therefore, for a long period I suppressed the idea of being a business woman.
Though at times my grades have suffered by spreading myself thin with various activities and leadership...