I am of African American, Native American (Cherokee) and West Indian heritage. I was born and lived in the urban United States until just before my 9th birthday. I attended school in Senegal, West Africa in a small town, at a small school with modest facilities. It is here that I completed my childhood and my education.
I spent about 3 years learning the language/culture of the new place I was living. I then decided to attend Arabic School as was expected of others in my age group. After completing this first phase of education I wanted to enroll in the French education system that could prepare me for college. Unfortunately, I did not speak French! So, I set out to learn enough French to enroll in school. This took several years as my efforts were mostly independent.
In Senegal I was raised by a host family that is responsible for feeding a community of people facing issues of development common to the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. Farming here is 100% organic but there is little use of modern practice, science, or machines. I have worked as a volunteer farm laborer for planting and harvest season for more than 10 years. I have watched the impact that limited food yields have on the entire community. This prompted my interest in Agricultural Science and the study of Food Systems. Agricultural Science and Food Systems in an international context is the best academic focus for me because this combines my interests in farm production, mathematics, engineering, and community wellbeing.
A key life goal for me is to use my learning as a tool for reaching back to help the community I grew up in and to assist with solving international & regional food quality, security, and systems problems.
Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.