Country of Origin:
Citizenship, Immigration, Black History/African Heritage, Racism/Discrimination, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada
Born out of wedlock to two teenage parents in a small village in West Africa. Henry immigrated to Canada in 2010. The same year he gained admission into the University of Windsor where he majored in Economics and graduated in 2014. After graduation, Henry worked for TD Bank Canada for a while before taking a bold step to pursue his dream of serving and helping people, especially helping young people to reach the pinnacle of their potential.
In 2016, he authored a book called "Stand Up, Stand Out & Be Confident,” (www.amazon.com/author/henryagassi ) a self-help motivational memoir that teaches people ways of handling peer pressure, building self-confidence, and dealing with some of life’s challenges.
Henry is also a mentor with the "Yonge Street Mission" in Toronto. He is also a volunteer speaker with Passages Canada, where he has had the opportunity to share his immigration story with different audiences. This includes new immigrants in Canada, to inspire them to take advantage of the unlimited possibilities in Canada and the world.
Henry has appeared and shared his story on the New Canadian Radio program. He has also appeared on Rogers TV as a special guest to discuss the issue of immigration in Canada. He has appeared a second time on Rogers TV to share his story and to discuss some of the challenges facing young people today.
Henry believes in the power of education "If not for education I would have probably still be living in that poor village in Africa today." He encourages young people and new immigrants to always be in pursuit of education and to never let any negative comments about immigrants hinder them from creating a better life for themselves and their family.
"Canada belongs to all of us"
Born in a poor little village in Africa to two unwed teenagers, my parents were too young so they couldn’t take care of me. I was then adopted my authoritarian grandfather living in this poor little village where we had no electricity, no indoor bumping with little to no hope of a better life despite harboring a dream for a better life and a better future.
When I was about 7 or 8, my grandfather, a farmer who never went to school but is very passionate about education. He decided to send me to a private primary school in the city even though we didn’t know where they tuition fee was going to come from. While in private school; I struggled academically because I couldn’t read and my grand father tried to teach me but I couldn't get it. I was always standing in front of the classroom and getting punished because I couldn’t read. But it got to a point, I got tired of the punishment and the embarrassment. So started staring in the Bible, books and newspapers trying to read them daily even though I couldn’t read. I did that enough that God saw my struggle and made it happened. I started reading (it was a shocker to my teacher) It happened like a magic trick that I still can’t explain it till this day.
While in the city, life was hard. We went some days with no food and no light since we didn't have any electricity at the home. We couldn’t afford even the cheapest candle light to study or see with at night. 6 people slept in one bedroom, with only one bed frame with no mattress but only two mats (one on the floor and one on the bed frame). 6 people shared one towel. The roof of the room sometimes leaks during a heavy rain, which means we sometimes pile ourselves in one corner so that we don’t get wet yet we had no water to shower or drink some days, a bit ironic lol. Despite the struggle, I never gave up because I had a dream and a hop for a better future. Besides, my grandfather gave no potions.
I graduated from that school and ended back in the village because my grandfather couldn’t afford a school in the city. Fortunately, 4 year later God opened a way and I got admission into a private high school in the city with the help of my father. I graduated high school in 20008. Then got a visa to Canada with the help of my father in 2010. In the same year I got admission into a university where I majored in Economics and graduated in 2014. A week after my graduation I started working for a bank in Toronto. But I was feeling unfulfilled with my banking job; partly because I knew my passion lies somewhere else. My passion lies in speaking to people and impacting them positively with my story and message. I wanted to do for other what my grand father did for me. I wanted to be a global voice of hope, because it been said when there's hope in the future that gives you power in the present. Thus, in the late 2015 I took the bold step to pursue my true passion.
In August of 2016 I published my first book called “Stand Up, Stand Out & Be Confident” (www.amazon.com/author/henryagassi). I am now pursing my dream of empowering people but most especially the youth to interrupt the negative thoughts in their minds and give them the courage to pursue their passion/dream regardless of their circumstances.