By Megan Caldwell
Among all the other changes, moving into a college room means filling your new room with lamps, desks, chairs, mirrors and, of course, an array of tacky wall decor to feel cozy.
I knew I could always buy such things when I arrived at Fordham University in the Bronx. Moving into Finlay Hall, I ran across the street to the closest store I could find to buy myself a mirror, some wall tacks and a disco ball. This is when I discovered the King’s Value Store, commonly referred to by students as the “dollar store”.
Wandering into this store, I quickly realized what a hidden gem this place was. Everything one could need in life was located at this tiny dollar store. As my trips there have become routine, I spoke with Bobs, the manager of the store.
Bobs has been working at the Value Store for a few months now, planning the daily schedule of employees, checking the stock, maintaining the store’s budget and reporting to senior management.
Feeling nervous and shy, Bobs slowly began to share with me his story. Having grown up on Fordham Road in the Bronx, Bobs hopes to raise his family here and give his 4-month-old daughter the life he never had. Having dropped out of middle school to help support his family, Bobs never pursued higher education.
Living in the Bronx has allowed him to remain close with his family, all 2,000 of them. Yes, that’s right, 2,000 uncles, aunts and cousins! Originally from Ghana, his family has slowly made their way to the United States over the past few generations and now a majority of them live right here in the Bronx. Extremely proud of his heritage, Bobs hopes to one day take his daughter to Ghana so that she too can appreciate the sacrifices made by earlier generations.
When asked what the best advice he had ever received was, Bobs smiled and said, “just to be a good person, it is very simple to be a good person.” He explained how being a good person is so simple because an education is not needed to understand goodness and kindness. In a community like the Bronx, many people will call you a liar and a cheater in business, but as long as Bobs knows in his heart that he is a good person, that is all that matters.