Alfred “Bankie” Mansaray was born in Kabala, Sierra Leone, West Africa. In the late 1990s at the peak of the brutal Sierra Leonean civil war, Bankie escaped to Ghana as a refugee where he registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR). Bankie completed high school at the Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Senior Secondary School in Kumasi and then entered the University of Ghana Legon in Accra. After only one year Bankie was resettled to Lansing Michigan by the United Nations.
Peace Corps volunteers Rich and Dana Wekerle had lived in Kabala for 3 plus years and knew Bankie as a 4, 5, and 6 year old. When they learned that he was in the US, they invited him to live with them in Moscow, Idaho and attend the University of Idaho. Bankie enrolled in January 2005 and graduated 3 years later with double majors in International Studies and Political Science.
Currently, Bankie is working with Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSS/NCA) Refugee Immigration Services (RIS) Target Assistant Program (TAP) as an Employment Advocate in Maryland and the Washington DC area. Bankie is married to his lovely wife, Huliamatu and they have two year old son, Bankie Myshop.