"Our moms set us up."
“I was born in Togo, West Africa. I came to the United States when I was 3 years old. My dad is an engineer, but in Africa, he was also a poet and a writer who wrote about the democratic process. That’s why he is always pushing me to excel. I’m only 18 years old, but I strive to look professional and to break social barriers and stereotypes. I want to excel and be good at everything I do. I want to go to law school. I try to read up on things I don’t know. I do gymnastics and break dance.”
“Do you think your background is what drives you?”
“I feel that it’s a wasted opportunity if I don’t succeed. But I also think I would be working even harder if I had lived longer in Togo. I only lived there when I was a little kid, so I don’t fully understand the struggle.
My father is a constant reminder. He was very poor when he first came here. He worked as a paperboy and lived with four or five other people in a studio apartment. There is one story he’s told me, in particular, that really motivated him to succeed. When I was little, our neighbors had a party and a kid got a bike for his birthday. I started riding that bike during the party. Afterwards, because our neighbors knew that my dad couldn’t afford to buy me a bike, they gave me an old, broken-down bike with no seat. I was actually happy riding it, but that incident really drove my dad to pursue a better life.”
Jamie O’Brien, Pipeline
Ph: Trevor Moran
“The believers are nothing else than brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.” (Surah Al-Hujurat: 10)
Still among my most fav songs.
“We met on the street a couple of times and had spontaneous dates. This is our first real ‘I’m going to take you out’ date.”
This is as real as it gets