I was born in the vibrant streets of Kingston, Jamaica. At a young age, my life took a significant turn when my father first migrated to the United States in search of a better life for our family. My mother and I stayed behind — an experience that many children of immigrants can relate to, as we can be separated from our loved ones for an extended period of time. At such a young age, I didn’t know if my father would return. My father did come back for us, and at the age of seven, I found myself in the U.S., embarking on a new chapter.
Adapting to the American way of life was challenging. While the language was English, my heart still spoke Patois. My accent was foreign, and my slang, unfamiliar. I struggled to communicate because the kids at school couldn’t quite grasp what I was saying. But I was determined to fit in and learn how to speak American English.
My parents had separated, so I grew up with my mom as a single parent watching her work tirelessly to provide for our family. We had come to the United States with dreams of the life we could build here. It wasn’t always easy, but we embraced the opportunities that the country had to offer.
I often think of our journey as a quest for the American dream. As immigrants, it felt like we had to work harder to achieve it. There were obstacles in our path, like the challenge of obtaining citizenship, which I finally achieved last year. But I believe that it’s the difficulties and the hurdles that make us stronger, that push us to thrive.
For me, thriving isn’t just about economic success. It’s about finding joy, peace, and a sense of belonging. It’s about creating a life where I can enjoy every moment, where my mental health is as important as my physical well-being. Being a father and a husband is my motivation, my driving force. And that’s why I chose joy. With joy, I can face any challenge, overcome any obstacle, and continue my journey toward the success of my family.
I firmly believe in the freedom to thrive, but I acknowledge that it’s not always easy. As a Black immigrant, we must work harder to achieve our dreams. However, that’s a challenge I accept with open arms. We are strong people built to overcome obstacles, and we do it with grace.
Today, I own a small business called Destination Point, and I’m happily married with six children. My wife’s family is from El Salvador, so we have a beautifully blended family. We teach our children that we all need a sense of connection, a bond that unites us as a community. It doesn’t matter what religion, race, or color we are — we all belong in the same melting pot. We’re here to thrive together, to create a society where prosperity, safety, abundance, joy, and peace are within everyone’s reach.
As a Jamaican immigrant, I’m proud of the life I’ve built in the United States. But my journey is far from over. I have many more goals to pursue and dreams to achieve. My story is a testament to the joy, resilience, and strength of immigrants. Joy encapsulates feeling irie — the Jamaican Patois way of saying good vibes and feeling good. It’s a reminder that life is not just about material wealth; it’s about finding joy in every aspect of life. It’s about thriving against all odds and showing the world that, with determination and a joyful heart, anything is possible.