Stranded in America
The incredible story of hope, survival, and rise to greatness
Dr. Etiko Oliver Akpan
Clever, an ambitious teenager, dreams of one day leaving Africa to study in America. He is accepted at a university in Tennessee where he will study business but is denied a visa ten times. Upon arrival in the United States, he experiences huge culture shock. Four weeks into classes, he learns his sponsor is unable to support him financially. Because he is on a student visa, he cannot work off campus and does not qualify for loans and financial aid opportunities. He goes without eating on many occasions. The physical and emotional pain are so severe that he wants to crawl out of his skin. But Clever is so determined to succeed, this hardship does not stop him. When graduation day comes, Clever and his girlfriend, Ayanna, graduate with honors. He is the valedictorian and presents a moving speech. They break up as they both face uncertain futures. Dealing with his dad’s loss right after graduation is daunting for him, and the feeling of abandonment is intensified when he cannot make it home. A year after graduate school, Clever meets Rosita. He marries abruptly, and it ends on a sad note. Despite his struggles, he neither gives up nor loses faith in God's plans for him. In his heart, Clever knows he will succeed. After these losses, he embarks upon a quest to find his first love, and he unexpectedly meets Ayanna again. They rekindle their romance, and the stage is set for new adventures.