Some Advice via George Washington Carver
Here's an interesting chunk from the Wikipedia article on George Washington Carver, an important scientist and citizen for our nation (1864-1943):
When George was only a week old, George, a sister, and his mother were kidnapped by night raiders from Arkansas. George's brother, James, was rushed to safety from the kidnappers. They sold the slaves in Kentucky, a common practice. Moses Carver hired John Bentley to find them, but only George was found. Moses negotiated with the raiders and swapped a racehorse for the infant's return, and rewarded Bentley.
[JP note: ...Making GWC perhaps the most famous person to have been traded for a horse.]
After slavery was abolished, Moses Carver and his wife, Susan, raised George and his older brother, James, as their own children. They encouraged George Carver to continue his intellectual pursuits, and "Aunt Susan" taught him the basics of reading and writing.
Since blacks were not allowed at the school in Diamond Grove, and he had received news that there was a school for blacks ten miles south in Neosho, he resolved to go there at once. To his dismay, when he reached the town, the school had been closed for the night. As he had nowhere to stay, he slept in a nearby barn. By his own account, the next morning he met a kind woman, Mariah Watkins, from whom he wished to rent a room. When he identified himself as "Carver's George," as he had done his whole life, she replied that from now on his name was "George Carver". George liked this lady very much, and her words, "You must learn all you can, then go back out into the world and give your learning back to the people", made a great impression on him.