In the face of inconceivable adversities, a man's spirit and determination is tested. In the case of Suud Olat, he dreamt of the proverbial American dream despite growing up in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya for over 20 years.
In an interview with Business Insider Africa, Olat revealed that he had struggled to adapt to the strenuous life and culture at the camp.
Fortunately, through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Olat's family was selected to go to the US - a dream come true for the young man.
"I was the first of my family to come to the US. I was resettled in Nashville, Tennessee. I was by myself then, because when they make resettlement, they take the family to the US separately. My parents came in December 2016," he stated.
In Tennessee, he began working at a warehouse in Nashville earning Ksh1,257 ($9) per hour. He noted that acquiring a high-paying job was a daunting task, especially for a refugee. He moved to Minnesota after acquiring his citizenship according to him a chance to further his studies in the US.
In 2019, Olat graduated from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota with a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Political Science.
With an unwavering determination, the former refugee aspired to reach for the brass ring by running for city council in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020.
"It was a hard time to run because of the pandemic and the protests triggered by the murder of George Floyd, especially for me, a refugee, and running for office for the first time. I lost, but it was a great experience," he noted.
Olat indicated that he was driven by the motivation to purchase a house for his family - which made him enroll in a truck driving school for Ksh698,500. He later acquired a commercial driving license in Salt Lake City, Utah.
After school, he got employed at an independent truck company through a friend, earning an average of Ksh139,700 ($1,000) a week.
"It's a hard job. You may drive 600, 700, 800, sometimes 1,000 miles a day, but I love it because I came here to work and you can be independent, and work as much as you want, and make good money," he pointed out.
He added that he's usually on the road for two months and rests for ten days. Currently, he has travelled to 48 states, driving an average of 1,287 kilometres in a day.
"I've driven from Washington State to Dallas, Texas, and from Jersey City, New Jersey to Miami," he added.
Olat noted that through his savings, he's well on his way to purchasing a house for his family.