“Eddie, even with a good GPA you were never enrolled in any college prep courses. You will not be admitted to any university. Best advice I can give you is to check out vocational schools, perhaps you can be a shift lead at a grocery store or fast food restaurant in the future.” The above statement is the best advice my guidance counselor could offer me back in High School when discussing my future after graduation.
In 1993 my family moved from Ghana to the USA to join my father who, at the time was pursuing his doctoral degree at the University of Iowa. Both of my parents hold doctoral degrees and, therefore, education is a value that is deeply embedded in my family’s culture. Although we moved to the USA primarily for my parent’s educational pursuits, our parents also wanted my siblings and I to benefit from the rich American educational system. Before beginning the school year, I had to take a placement test to evaluate if I met the proficiency requirements for 9th grade. I believe this placement test was culturally biased, and failed to reveal my true potential. Due to my poor performance in the standardized test I was placed in the lowest academic track, and hence was unable to work up to my true potential. I did not realize the impact this placement test would have on me until that Tuesday in October when I went to discuss college and university options with my guidance counselor entering my senior year in high school.
The discussion with my guidance counselor had a tremendous impact and motivated me to work harder if I was to continue dreaming of doing great things. Leaving his office that afternoon dejected, broken mentally and emotionally, I vowed never to let anyone put limitations on what my potential are. It was then I started my journey to not only empower children coming through the same system but also to serve my community spreading the message of resiliency, persistence and hardwork because I did not know what was next for me.
Eddies Teddies Incorporated is a byproduct of my interest in being an advocate for those without a voice, my passion for education, promoting diversity and intercultural awareness, empowering children and the youth; and bringing people together to create a global community where everyone is welcomed, understood and valued.
Our mission is simple, to empower children and youth from all backgrounds to reach their potential. We believe no one should have the power to dream for these underprivileged groups or discourage them from achieving their goals. I was blessed enough to have people in my life who provided the resources I needed to achieve the things I set my mind to. The best way I can repay is to serve those in need and show them how to reach for the sky.
With a little bit of selflessness, we can empower our future generation to build better communities.
By bridging cultures we create a global community. Do you want to be part of our global community and help empower those in need? There many ways you can help. Email us today.
A pen, pencil or a note book might not mean much to you, but it is everything to some of the children in the village of Lolito, Ghana and others around the world. Help us make a difference by donating today.
Your support and contributions will enable us to reach children all over the world who don't have much. Your generous donation will help empower kids to dream.