Livingston's New Year's Dream

2014. A new year. A fresh start to pursue your dreams.

A year ago, I landed in Accra (the capital of Ghana) not knowing a soul. Soon after I arrived, I met Livingston "“ an outgoing, enthusiastic, twenty-six year old native of Ghana. He took me under his wing and showed me around this new city of 3 million people, looking out for this foreigner 5,000 miles away from home. We bonded over a shared love of theater, fried rice, and adorable kids performing on shows like "America's Got Talent."

Since June, Livingston has been living in Portland, Oregon with a cousin, in hopes of furthering his education in the US. I want to help him achieve his dream.

Livingston is a go-getter "“ smart, ambitious, and driven "“ as well as a hard worker and dedicated volunteer. He was a peer educator with the human rights organization where I volunteered, teaching young people in the community about HIV and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and ways to prevent transmission. For the last few years, he volunteered with youth theater programs in Jamestown, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Accra. He has been a positive role model to children where extreme poverty can pressure kids to make unsafe and unhealthy choices. He aspires to work with at risk youth in America, and has lead workshops at schools in Brooklyn and Washington, DC, using theater techniques to focus on problem solving. Livingston has a lot to give, but lacks financial support.

The original visa that he was issued didn't allow him to go to school, so he's returned to Ghana in order to secure the proper visa. He will be flying back to Oregon on February 20th.

I want to help Livingston begin his education here in the US. But first, he needs money for administrative fees related to his visa, school fees, and basic living expenses. I am hoping to raise $2,500.

I was fortunate to have emotional and/or financial support at every step of my schooling "“ from my parents and teachers, as well as a scholarship to grad school. I could not be where I am today without the help of others.

In the words of the late Nelson Mandela, "A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of." As you begin 2014, please think of those who've helped you pursue your dreams and please, if you can, help pay it forward "“ for Livingston, and on behalf of all those who've traversed the globe in pursuit of the American dream.

Thank you so much for your support!
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