African immigrant seeks to help the 'driven and entrepreneurial' acclimate to the St. Louis area

Brian Barlay was 4 years old when his parents immigrated from Sierra Leone to the United States, pursuing opportunity and landing in California.

They came under the Diversity Immigrant Visa program — which allows randomly selected people from countries with low immigration numbers to the United States — to get a green card.

Barlay remained in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, and was raised by an extended family of about 20. When he was 15 years old, he also immigrated. His parents had divorced and his mother moved to Jefferson City, Missouri, where many Sierra Leone immigrants had settled.

After graduating from high school, Barlay said he wanted to take a “leap of faith.” He moved to St. Louis in 2013. Read more here