My name is Mame Diouf. I was born in New York, 14 years ago. I went to Africa, when I was young to get my education and used to come during vacations. In school, I like learning new interesting stuff to develop my knowledge, and also spend time with my friend. Out of school, I love singing or going to the pool, having fun and meeting new people. I feel like am good at defending my opinion, sharing my point of view, and  debating on a specific thing to convince others. I got that way because I spend significant time listening to what people may have to say. Considering that each other may pick up a different idea on the same topic. My dream is to see one day, the world full of peace and kindness, and see all the population united and willing to make others feel home wherever they immigrate. And my plans in the future are to be one of many, to help my dream comes true, by rescuing people like doctors, saving lives like fire fighter or even be a police officer and maintain law and order.

I was born in New York but went to Africa when I was young. Each break, after nine months of work, I used to come back and spend time with my parents and siblings. Until September when I decided to continue my studies in New york. I was 14 when I left Africa. I started high school when I came and just finished my first year in Claremont IHS. I was living with my grandmother, aunts and cousins. My whole life was built in Senegal, a country in west Africa where we were located. I was devastated when I realized I would have to leave all that behind. I kept in mind it was all for the best, that one day my dreams will come true and they will all be proud of me. My journey is good so far although life became totally different. The environment is totally distinct from where I come from. My family is here and is supporting me in each step I am trying to achieve. I also feel lucky to be multilingual. By observing and improving  my writing and speaking skills, I am making my dreams bigger and more realistic.

There was a time in my life when I witnessed injustice. People were treated different because of their skin color. This was wrong because no matter how a person looks, he should be considered like any other human being. We are all the same, despite our skin color, race or ethnicity. No one chooses who they are. We just have to accept how we or others may look. Appearance doesn’t define a person, his thoughts or feelings. Each one of us can choose who they want to become and the acts that will characterize us. We just have to observe and accept that a variety of opinion and manners makes the world full of wonders and surprises. No one should feel free to criticize others because they think they are better or perfect. To me that is considered as an act of maturity and self respect.

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July 15, 2018 7:59 pm

Dear Mame, What an interesting story. You are lucky that your birthright citizenship in the US allows you to travel without the worries that so many have about being able to leave and re-enter through our harsh immigration system. I’ve never understood how the powerful got to decide that money can go back and forth without any trouble, but people get all sorts of arbitrary and illegitimate problems put in the way of their movement. With your language skills and clear thinking I’m sure you will help the coming generation to figure out some good solutions to the problems your elders have left you all with. ¡La lucha continua! Cheers, Fred

Reply to  Mame
July 14, 2018 3:43 pm

What excellent advice, Mame!

Your voice is such an important presence here on Youth Voices, thank you!


July 12, 2018 10:06 pm

Dear Mame,

Thank you for sharing your story. I really enjoyed reading it and I particularly loved how you expressed your thoughts about the importance of listening in building relationships.

I was fortunate enough to spend time in Senegal and I agree that there is such a difference between New York and Senegal. I am impressed by your adaptability and I am wondering how your many trips to vacation in New York contributed to your ability to adapt to an environment so different from your home environment. What advice would you give to your peers moving from their home countries to NYC?

I look forward to reading more of your posts on Youth Voices.



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