Columbia Heights, Minnesota
By Brenda Sanchez, iLander Staff Reporter
From Liberia to America, Success Skinner has shown a great and positive attitude toward living her life to the fullest. With goals and dedication to the future as a sophomore at CHHS, Skinner is a positive role model for young girls.
Skinner was born in the country of Liberia in Africa, and lived in the country of Ghana until she was four years old, when she moved to Columbia Heights. She’s been living with her grandparents ever since.
What has greatly affected Skinner’s life was the death of her mother when Skinner was in eighth grade. After battling a disease, her mother passed away in Liberia. Even though Skinner lived in the United States, she had a great connection with her mom. She left school for about three weeks to be in Liberia with her relatives for the funeral. She said it is the worst thing that has ever happened her.
“Losing my mom changed my life forever,” Skinner said. “I miss her very much. Not (until) you’ve lost a parent, (can) you understand what it feels. However, now all I want to do is make her proud and keep a happy memory in my heart.”
That year, Skinner was involved in a program for girls who had a temper, or who were troubled in some sort of way. Skinner became a leader in that group and learned a lot from it, leading her to decide to be a better student. So she signed up for the AVID program, a class where students learn skills that prepare them for college. She is taking Pre-AP English to prepare herself for AP Language and Composition next year. She will also be taking AP U.S. History.
Skinner said she loves to sing in the school’s advanced woman’s choir. She also is the girls basketball manager and enjoys being a part of the team. In her freshman year, she played softball and enjoyed the sport. Outside of school she likes to read and go to church.
“I love going to church,” Skinner said. “There’s nothing better than being close to God.”
For a future career, Skinner is considering becoming a lawyer. She said she enjoys law and politics and even dreams of being an ambassador to Liberia.
“I’m kind of thinking of going to New York for college, but then again I want to go down in the south to a historical black college and pursue my dreams there,” she said.
Although she’s not entirely sure what she wants to be, she has a bright, wide-open future ahead of her. With all her life’s struggles she keeps moving forward with an independent spirit and compassion for others.
As Skinner puts it: “I guess I just want to live up to my name.”
(Photo: Success Skinner takes time during lunch to receive the iLander treatment. Photo by Brenda Sanchez.)