“Growing up as an immigrant child in America has its struggles. My family immigrated to the United States when I was a 4-year old from an Island called Somalia in southern Polynesia. The reason why we came to America was for opportunity and a better future for all of us--My dad wanted to become an ordained pastor, and once we arrived he attended Bible College."
The first line of work Anthony's dad had in ministry was at small islander church in Kansas City, but his dad was faced with conflicting ideals. He wanted to preach more about peace and love instead of hell, but the congregation disagreed. So his father had to find a new line of work.
“Watching my dad’s dream of being a pastor shatter again scarred me emotionally. Growing up, we had our hardships, and that sort of just comes with being a foreign family trying to make it in America. You have to start from the bottom unless you are royalty. There have been so many times that my family has been homeless and we have even had to sleep in our car a couple of times."
“Sophomore year of high school was a really bad year because no matter how hard my dad worked, it just wasn’t keeping up with the bills. One of the hardest things that happened in that year was having to wake up in the winter and not have hot water or electricity. My mom would have to wake up an hour before me and heat up a giant pot of water on our gas stove so I could bathe myself. I remember being so mad at what was happening and wondering, why am I am in high school right now and why is my family still having to struggle with money? That routine kept happening for a couple of months until finally we were able to save up enough money to move out of that house and into one that was more affordable. That whole experience was sort of the beginning of my whole downward spiral into depression."
Chapter Two of Anthony's story coming soon.