Tweet When I attended JSU one of my best friends, freshman year, was Kenny. Kenny and I were inseparable, in fact, some people thought we were dating. Looking back, it is funny how we became so close. We were from opposite ends of the world. Kenny was from the Caliope projects in New Orleans, he had served three years in jail and was on probation. I, on the other hand, grew up in a middle class neighborhood and was on a full scholarship, but somehow we clicked.
On his right bicep, Kenny had a tattoo that read, "Scared Money, Don't Make Money". Now, of course, I was clueless to what this meant so one day I asked him. "Cardie," he said in his thick New Orleans accent, " if you ain't willing to get out there and take some chances, you ain't goin' make it."
Ten years later, I understand completely. With the economic downturn many people undoubtedly find themselves afraid. With the high unemployment rate in the black community, even among the most educated, I am sure many of my peers have endured sleepless nights, " Why me, God" moments and plenty of tears, and I can relate.
When I decided to move many people asked me if I was afraid. The answer was yes, I was. But I also knew that I had to take control of my life, in order to keep making progress. For me, that meant pursuing opportunity outside of the country. I didn't show up with a lot of money or even have a job. But I knew the money I had, would take me further in Ghana than it would in the States.
Making the decision to move out of the country is never an easy one. You will miss an opportunity sometimes to first-hand share in your friend's and family's greatest moments. Since I have moved to Africa I have missed my grandmother's funeral and the wedding of one of my dearest friends. Yet, I still know that it is all worth it.
So I encourage you today to look at life with a new perspective an international one that, yes, may be scary, but is absolutely necessary for some. Because it is definitely obvious that the only thing left of the American dream is crumbs.