“I became a pauper because I wanted to get to America,” Cordelia Baiyelo said of her dream to leave Nigeria and come to the United States. “In school, I was never taught about America and I wanted to know. When I got off the airplane here, I kissed the ground!”
Cordelia was self-sufficient in Nigeria, but it took all her money to pursue her American dream. At age 75, she sits in the Employment Services office at MUST in Smyrna and tells her sweet story.
“I have family here, so I moved to Smyrna and started taking computer training at the library. Via a referral, I found my way to MUST and they all love me here,” she said with a deep smile. “When I got here, I felt like God took over all of my problems.”
With a degree from University of Moscow (yes, she speaks Russian too) and two masters degrees, she was director of education in a high school and had taught all her life. Some suggested she’d never find a job here and she was discouraged. But Megan Marshall, the MUST employment specialist in Smyrna, looked at the resume and a light went on.
She discovered Cordelia had helped establish a Catholic school. Megan suggested substituting at St. Joseph’s Catholic School and helped her prepare for the interview. As God would have it, the head of substitute teachers at St. Joseph’s had also studied in Moscow and was compassionate and helpful. Cordelia was thrilled. She has completed the training and is about to start substituting.
As Megan said of her client and now friend, “Her journey has been from God every step of the way.”
Ms. Baiyelo’s education
- Bachelor of Arts, Education, Friendship University, Moscow
- Master’s Degree, Philology, Friendship University, Moscow 1971
- Master’s Degree, Adult Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria, 1973
- Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Ahmedu University, Zaria, Nigeria