An Immigrant's Story

Guy Moussavou spoke to our club about his life growing up in Gabon, Africa. What lies within you is
tremendous capacity to do whatever our eyes or minds focuses on. We sent a man to the moon. It is
amazing what humans can accomplish.
Guy was born in a small village. His dad was a principal of a school. His father left his mother while she
was pregnant. He was born into poverty. He has eight brothers and sisters. His mother went from town
to town to clean and cook for other people. When he was 12 his mother sent him to live with his cousin
who went to college. He lived with thirty people in the house that was using the cousin for support.
Guy would walk 32 miles every weekday to go to school. He never had anything to eat at school Monday
through Friday. He just drank water. He dropped out of high school. He couldn’t find work so he started
cleaning houses and cooking. He would make maybe a $1 per day. He would stay at the places he would
cook at clean. He had to live in a pantry.
He was told a story about a man went to America in search of a better life. In America you would work
and go to school at night. Guy was captivated by this story and pledged to do whatever he could to go to
and be successful America like that man.
With any project the thing that prevents people from moving ahead in life is that we look at our past and
listen to our friends/family telling us that we can’t. If you feel or believe you can’t, you can’t.
Guy wrote a letter to Abbey School in London and he was accepted. He received a scholarship to study
for 3 months to learn English. He had to fly to Paris to apply for his visa. He was denied. Three months
later he was trying to fly back and was arrested because they thought he was going to try to live in Paris
so they threw him in jail. He only wanted one thing and that was a better life. He was deported back to
Gabon. His friends and family shunned him.
He kept trying to fulfill his dream. Because he couldn’t get to London he went to the cultural center in
his country and taught himself English out of a French/English dictionary. He found a brochure about a
school in Hawaii about an English program. He was accepted and received a scholarship. He applied for
a visa at the U.S. embassy. It was denied. He went back five days later the representative said he had to
wait three months to apply again. He asked the representative if what he had wasn’t enough to get the
visa. The representative came back and said I’m going to issue the visa. Attitude will determine where
you will go in life.
A month later he flew to U.S. He was greeted with, “Welcome to the United States of America”. We he
heard those words he thought, “This is it. I’m going to make it.” In Hawaii he learned English. He
applied to colleges all over the states and he was accepted to Seattle Central Community College but he
couldn’t pay. He met a man who gave him $13,000 as a sponsorship. He finished his AA and transferred
to Washington State University and obtained his bachelor’s in communication. He went to Western
Governors University and received a MBA in Healthcare Management. He is faculty at Western
Governors University.
It took determination but also someone standing by his side to help. If a young man in a small village in
Africa was able to make it to this country and do what he has done what can stop you? Nothing.
Attitude is more important than your past, education, money, failure, success, skills, or being gifted. It
can make or break a company, church, or your own home. It is about how you respond to what life gives to you.
Our attitude or response to every life event will determine what you will become in life.