I am from West Africa, and moved to America when I received a scholarship from the International Olympic committee in March, 2011 to try for the London Olympic Games, 2012. This scholarship is given to third world countries to develop Olympic sports. My sport is taekwondo, which is a Korean martial art. I was born in Niger (Naimey) where we speak French but I also speak my tribal languages (Zarma and Hausa), Arabic, Spanish and now more fluently, English.
Having this scholarship changed my life in many ways such as traveling around the world to compete, learning a new language, and going back to school to complete my high school education. Most of the children in my country are expected to work so that they can help provide for the family. Completing my education was not possible in Niger. This was something that I always wanted because I knew education could bring success.
Living in Havelock with my coach, led me to Craven Community College. My coach signed me up for classes on the New Bern Campus for ESL and I began to increase my skills. I studied English day and night in between teaching taekwondo lessons or training for competitions. When my teacher and I felt like I was prepared to enter classes, I began studying for my GED. After receiving my GED, I am now enrolled in college classes and hope to enter the Physical Therapy Assistant Program on campus and eventually enter a university.
I have made North Carolina my home and hope that one day my parents and siblings can visit me in our wonderful country which holds many opportunities and freedoms. I also have made many friends across the country through my travels and most especially at Craven Community College. While I may not have made the Olympic team at this time, I am gaining my education and that is more valuable to me than anything.