In my adopted country, unless am stopped and someone wants to know more about me I may be another new person in the community. ‘Perhaps staying for a short time and return to Africa, Jamaica or the Dominican Republic,’ many may add in contemplative reflection or for others sardonically. I left my country as a manager and coordinator of a unit in the Ministry of Health that researched, documented and profiled infections and diseases. I left my family and community that I was used to. I also left for fear of my life. I came to USA, to make sure I pursue my dreams and lead a happier life. This, in USA, is a grail I hope will sit in one place and I shall be able to take sips from it. I want to study science, be well grounded and one day practice medicine in USA. In my mind I am able to track fast forward and backtrack to present day. I am seeking asylum and at the mercy of public assistance. I live with a host family and survive on a subsistence of USD 300 a month. Am very grateful.
I have over time realized I need to rely on my soft skills. I do help around and engage in community work. This has helped me make friends. But, when I talk of soft skills, my finger is pointing at: attitude, open-mindedness, resolve, consistence, competence, humility, focus, service and industriousness. By attitude, this is what I mean: I look at life from a humble but productive point of view. I have stripped myself of all pretense and have reconciled myself with what is around me. At home am making myself useful and dependable. I do ask for clarification and direction on how to use, say, the coffee-maker or grating machine. I do like to learn the American way of home-life. Even when I go down-town, this is the attitude I move about with. By resolve, this is what I mean: I have designed a work-plan, a schedule, to follow as I learn and read about being an American. I have enrolled in remedial classes. I do read widely on American civics and government. I do want to be informed. By consistence, focus and industriousness, this is what I mean: I follow my schedule like clock-work. That way I have been able to track what I do and that way I feel am empowering myself and improving on my self-esteem. The above skills have enabled me get a certain level of competence and it has enabled me navigate almost seamlessly in USA. I do hope one day, I shall be able to be of help to others who want to make it productively in USA.
Self actualization for me is tied to my stay in USA presently. I want to believe that saying: the sky is the limit. I do want to earn my legalization and eventually become a US citizen. I do read and study English, civics and other subjects. I have been subjected to occasions of criminal background checks because I do volunteer work with social-services organizations on short term contracts. I also had the occasion to undergo Federal finger printing and biometrics. I am hopeful these are steps towards a legal status. It is painfully taking long, but am patient. I cannot legally earn money at this point. I also may be forced to give up my chance of education until am legally documented. I went to the Registry of motor vehicles to get an identity card; I was told am not legally allowed to own a state ID. I still use my passport. I have plans to be of more service, but I cannot because I do not have legal status and a social security number. I am a car raring to go! All hope has not been lost. I used my extra time to study. I have given over 6 months studying mathematics and have tried many sums done up to undergraduate level. The other day an organization I applied to has, provided me a window to do mentoring in Mathematics and English for children 15-18 years. With legal status I shall be able to integrate fully, serve more usefully in my community and invest with a hope to get dividends. I shall be looked upon as a useful community member, earn higher incomes, serve on jury duty, engage in local politics and engage in elections.