A Family of A2S US Scholars
I have always heard about Access to Success from my sister, Uche, and her friends while playing basketball in Nigeria. I never knew who A2S was or what they stood for until my sister traveled to the United States. Even after she traveled, I still did not pay attention to any detail concerning Access to Success. All of that changed when she came back from the United States. I was told that Mr. Andrew Lovedale, the founder of Access to Success, wanted to speak with me at the A2S Basketball and Empowerment Camp. I never wanted to show up because part of me knew that he would try and convince me to start playing basketball. Out of respect for Mr. Andrew Lovedale, I showed up with the intent of listening to what he was going to say but never actually apply it because I was a soccer guy at the time. I also knew he would leave for the United States after the camp, and he was not going to be with me to make sure I started playing. After meeting with him, he asked me why I was not playing, and I told him that I did not have the time to play. So, he said that he would get me a pair of shoes and he wants me to start playing. Eventually, he came through and got me a couple of basketball shoes. Getting shoes that day was the highlight of my week. I was so excited and happy and could not wait to start using them. The feeling of getting shoes like the ones I received was unexplainable. It was a massive deal for me because I have never gotten shoes like that in my life.
That was a turning point for me. I started playing basketball and got involved in the Access to Success After School Academy. The After School Academy is a place where many people, including me, learn more after school. Not only that, but we also get good meals every day as we learn. It is a community filled with teachers and people that love us, and that is one of the significant reasons people show up every day – to grow and learn. Soon after I started playing basketball, I fell deeply in love with it, and it became an everyday thing for me. I found myself playing basketball each day, and since then, it has been an integral part of my life. The annual Access to Success Basketball and Empowerment Camp became something I look forward to every year. Learning in the camp and, most importantly, getting shoes was the highlight of my month, and I never dared to miss it.