My father told me a story once. I asked him to tell me something, ANY thing, about himself as a child. He began with how he was able to attend school. My father is from a rural part of Nigeria. Ijemo, Abeokuta, Nigeria to be exact. He begged his mother repeatedly to allow him to attend school but she cited financial reasons and transportation as the impediment. My father had an uncle from the city that would come down to visit frequently. He begged him too but his uncle agreed with his mother. Despite what he had been told, my father gave one last attempt. He hid out in his uncle’s car trunk. When his uncle arrived back to the city that evening, he opened it to find five-year-old Afolabi Odejimi. My father pleaded with his uncle to be allowed in school. His uncle admired his creativity and determination and agreed to pay for his schooling and allow him to stay in the city close to the institution. Since then my father has been unstoppable. He emigrated, alone, to America at age 17 and graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in the 1970s. He has built two successful financial advisory firms in Arizona and is recognized by the state and the military as an important asset to the financial world. I always look to him for pride and reassurance. When I feel I cannot take any more stress I think of his journey to be a successful man, father, immigrant and American and realize I have strength deep within I must reach down and pull out. Years ago, my father was diagnosed with colon and then prostate cancer. I remember seeing him cry for the first time when he told me and my sister the news. My father never stopped working. He neither fell into a depression nor neglected any of his obligations. He remained strong and dignified and fought both illnesses with his head high. The surgeries removed all cancerous cells fortunately. I not only see a survivor in my father, but also a resilient, formidable force to be reckoned with.