THE BRONX (PIX11) — Graduating from college is a life changing moment, but for one former UPS worker and refugee from Ghana, graduating college meant a bit more.

It was a tough journey, but thanks to Abdul Samed Walker’s determination and a little help from his co-workers and Bronx Community College, he made it happen. Walker’s incredible journey to America began in Ghana. One of 15 children, he made his way to America, and remembers struggling to survive.   

“My mom would fast. I had to give up food for my little brothers. They had to survive.  I had to survive,” said Walker.  

Walker traveled through five countries in South America, then ended up in Mexico. He was denied entry to the U.S., but eventually got to California and waited in a detention center for a year until his case was reviewed.

Then in 2017, Walker was granted asylum, and stayed with the relatives of a detention center officer in New York City.  Walker was a UPS worker, working the overnight shift and coming to Bronx Community College during the day. He says his co-workers at UPS helped him pay for his enrollment fees. 

Walker enrolled in what’s called the ASAP Program, the Accelerated Study Associates Program at Bronx Community College. It helps students like Walker graduate, providing support like free MetroCards, textbooks and academic help.

Walker now has a bachelor’s in computer science from Baruch College. He wants a job as a software engineer and wants to go back to Ghana and give back.  

For more information about Bronx Community College programs, click here.