Washington D.C., August 30, 2019. This is the story of how 38-year-old Omolanke Shelle, a citizen of Nigeria, an indigene of Ekiti State, made her country proud far away from home in Chicago.
Omolanke spoke of her mother of blessed memory (Mrs. Grace Titilayo Adekunle) instilled the fear of God in her by teaching her to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”.
As a young girl in Agege a city in Lagos, she had no clue of what her mother’s daily psalm would lead her to in the future.
Omolanke struggled throughout and graduated from Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo campus, Lagos. There she met her soulmate (Olasunkanmi Shelle). This young couple after graduation could not secure any job due to Nigeria’s high unemployment.
A turning point for Omolanke happened in 2016 when she got the U.S. visiting visa. However, she had no clue that obtaining a visa is one thing, having money to purchase a ticket and make all necessary accommodation arrangements is another thing.
Upon her arrival in the U.S initially without her husband, she would walk long distances in the snow, or rainy days to take her kids to school in the windy city of Chicago.
Today, Mrs Shelle currently works at the Stericycle facility in Aurora, Illinois.
Her supervisor, Mr John Katchka, told (CABNC TV) that Omolanke Shelle was honored with rising of Nigeria’s flag at the company’s facility, on account of her “ability to learn fast, excellence work ethics, good attitude and impressive team spirit”.
Omolanke narrated that, she started working with Stericycle through a temporary employment agency when she moved to the U.S. with her family in 2016. She said, “When we arrived in the U.S., I had to work to assist my husband with the bills; besides I wanted to return back to school, so I need money. As a temporary staff, I was supposed to work for eight and a half hours from 7:00 a.m to 3:30 p.m, but I begged my supervisors for overtime, which they granted.”
As the only African working at the Stericycle Aurora center, she said, “I have no doubt that my Nigerian culture and parental upbringing made me strong, resilient, self-sufficient and independent. The dream is still very achievable and alive. As a Nigerian living in the US, hard work, determination and survival should be everyone’s standard. At the end of the day, one will gain the reward of what you have done. Hard times are the true test of resilience and patience, and I thank God for blessing me and my family.”