Ellsworth AFB airman won lottery to live the American dream
Not the lottery you might think, but still a win of a lifetime
BOX ELDER, S.D. – Airmen stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base come from all over, but not usually as far as the African country of Ghana.
For SrA Bernice Asiedu, she’s a long way from home but it’s a dream come true.
Behind the doors of the 28th Comptroller Squadron, Asiedu helps other airmen with their finances.
“I like talking to people, it helps me learn the language more,” said Asiedu. “I like talking to people and I work customer service now. I’m always happy to see people smile and make a difference in their lives.”
It’s an opportunity that would not have been possible without first winning the lottery, the Diversity Visa Program Lottery.
When Asiedu registered for the lottery in 2012, so did 19 million other people around the world and over 132,000 from Ghana alone.
She earned one of 1,600 visas granted in Ghana that year, less than 1 percent of the country’s total population.
Asiedu says some people register their whole lives and never get picked. “I kept applying every year since 2007,” said Asiedu.
Then, the phone rang in 2012 and she was a winner. “It was a big thing in my life and I appreciate it,” said Asiedu.
Before winning the DV lottery, Asiedu was a teacher specializing in the English language and creative arts. She was even accepted to a university closer to home when she won the lottery. But the dream of coming to America was too big for her to pass up.
She came to the United States in 2013 and joined the Air Force just two years after that. Ultimately becoming a U.S. Citizen herself with her husband and 9-month-old baby.
“I’m really proud of myself,” said Asiedu. “Not very, very proud because I haven’t gotten to where I want to get yet, but I’m okay. I can take care of my family and that is what I really wanted to do.”
Asiedu is currently taking classes towards earning a business degree and one day, she hopes to commission as an officer in the United States Air Force.