Meron Abebe

The Enduring Strength of An African Woman

The pressure was mounting. Ruth’s father was not getting any younger and often needed her financial support. Ruth had to make a tough decision to put her modeling dreams on hold, and worked two jobs while attending college part-time to support her aging father and youngest sister Janet who took care of her father. Ruth was constantly on the road to work or school. She barely got much sleep and was constantly stressed. One stormy day after school, she was involved in a terrible accident, but miraculously she was unharmed even though her car was a total loss. It was from this accident that Ruth had a major wakeup call and decided to turn her life around. “All I can remember was how overwhelmed I felt before the accident. I was barely making it, and everyone back at home was looking to me for financial assistance that I knew I was sacrificing sleep in order to give. I did not want my father to worry any more than he already had. I wanted to reach out so badly I forgot to take care of myself. I remember the best way I knew how to deal with all the pressure was to go out drinking with friends excessively or chose to stay away from everyone at my uncle’s home to avoid what at the time I thought was meddling in my life when they questioned what was going on in my life. On the other hand, I’m grateful I went out drinking with friends when I was feeling down. Through during one of those outings is how I met my husband Corey. He really rescued me. I don’t think he knows or realizes this even though I have mentioned it to him many times over the past seven years, but he did rescue me”.

After the accident, Ruth found herself evaluating her life, her accomplishments, and her goals. What had she done to be proud of, and what was preventing her from doing what she had not done that she wanted to do? Ruth always had a passion for education and fashion, but most importantly she liked helping others succeed, especially in situations she could relate to. At age 23, Ruth decided to start a business (Ideal Perspective International, Inc.) to help other college-bound international students attain admission in universities within the USA. Of course this decision followed strongly after she began to grow more and more discouraged in the modeling industry, as well as its demanding nature of travels that she could not afford since at the time she lacked a strong support system while trying to pursue modeling. “I had to evaluate quickly where my life was headed. I had to rationalize everything. I knew that at the time a career in fashion modeling was probably going to end by the time I was 24, which would give me nothing to show for in return. However, starting a business would be something I could do for a long time and might even carry on to many generations down the road. Besides, I needed to make a better life for myself and to continue reaching out to my father”.
Today, even after all the tough times, Ruth is very optimistic about life and what it has brought and continues to bring. As any struggling entrepreneur, Ruth has worked odd jobs on the side along the way to keep her business afloat .Today she runs her business full time in Chicago. She has made many partnerships with accredited universities and other international partners with whom together they reach out to consult international students globally. Ruth never gave up on her dreams of pursuing modeling, and today is represented locally as she pursues lifestyle, commercial modeling, and acting. In lieu of helping other aspiring talents make it in the entertainment business, Ruth once again launched another business (Portfolio Fusion Magazine), a magazine which fuses education and fashion while helping aspiring and professional talents gain exposure in the business. “My businesses are my own. I’m so blessed to be able to say that I’m doing what I love. Running both businesses can be challenging, but that is what I enjoy most about them because it does not feel like work. It is fun, it is my creation, and I am my own boss. My mind is constantly racing with ideas and I don’t mind it at all. It is what drives me. Every now and then I don’t mind staying up all night working. I keep a pen and pad on my night stand to record my ideas when my mind races with ideas at night. I love every aspect of my businesses, and in many ways I feel like I’m paying it forward when I reach out to prospective college students through my global educational consulting agency and aspiring talents through the magazine.

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