“I grew up with my dad and stepmom back home in Nigeria. I really didn’t know my biological mom. My dad told me that she left when I was young. Like, after she gave birth, she left and never came back. But, I remember seeing her, about four times, and I feel like we had a connection going. But, I really didn’t know her. And, she died two years ago. Somebody called me and said that my mommy is dead. And it hurt, because I wanted to know her. I wanted to know the whole story from her side, not just my dad’s side. I wanted to hear what she had to say about it, but I didn’t have the opportunity.

So I was raised by my dad. But, when I was around 9 or 10, he sent me to live in an orphanage home because he couldn’t take care of me. He didn’t have enough. Life in the orphanage home was a lot to handle. But, my dad took me out after about three years, and I lived with him for a while. After I got out of the orphanage home, life was good. My dad was stable financially. I came to the United States when I was 16, to live with my aunt in Michigan. And, I found Jackson State on Twitter, after searching for schools that give full-ride scholarships. I currently have a 4.0 GPA here.

So, I want people to know that it doesn’t matter where you are from or what story you have. You still matter. I actually met a guy in one of my classes who’s in a foster home. He struggled with a lot of day-to-day things. And, he just stopped coming to class. I wish I could tell him my story, and just help him and let him know that I’ve been there.”

– Winnie, senior mass communications major from Abuja, Nigeria.