Half a world away from Southern Virginia University—4,780 miles to be exact—is the small town in West Africa where I was born. When I was a young boy only six years old, a violent civil war engulfed my country of Liberia that left 250,000 people dead. To protect my sister and me, my mother gathered us together and left everything behind. We joined the thousands of refugees fleeing our war-torn country to find a new home. Looking back, it was a miracle that we escaped with our lives.