melvin keihn

The Michigan fullback's family welcomed Keihn, a Liberia refugee and Maryland defensive end, into their family.

Liberia native and Maryland football player Melvin Keihn formed a relationship with high school teammate Henry Poggi and the Poggi family to help him adjust to life in America.

The amazing story of Maryland junior defensive end Melvin Keihn and his journey to see his mother for the first time in nearly 15 years.

Melvin is finally able to see his mother and hug her for the first time in 14 years and they spend the next 11 days together.

After attending Virginia Tech University for his freshman year of college, Melvin transferred to the University of Maryland to be closer to his family.

Melvin had become an elite football player in the Maryland area. But even throughout this seemingly positive time in his life, Melvin still thought about his mother back in Liberia everyday ? and would make an effort to call her at least 3 times a month.

Melvin landed in Baltimore and began living with his father. He struggled in school because teachers and his peers could not understand his accent. Melvin discovered football and used the sport as an outlet to unleash his frustration and take his mind of his mother who remained back in Liberia.

Melvin Keihn was born during one of Liberia’s bloodiest Civil Wars. He grew up with his mother (Satta Johnson) in the countryside – his father (Bainda Keihn) remained in the capital city of Monrovia but was able to visit him on a couple of occasions. Bainda joined the United Nations and escaped the violence in Liberia by traveling to the United States. Once there, he applied for a political asylum to remain in America and after it was granted he began the process of applying for a visa for Melvin to join him in the United States. Back in Liberia, Melvin was facing the dangers of the Civil War on a daily basis – even being held at gunpoint one morning. When he finally received word that his visa had been approved, his mother took him to the airport. Melvin’s mother told him that she’d be coming with him to America, but ultimately she had to remain behind because she did not obtain a visa. Melvin found himself alone on a plane headed to the United States, and he did not know when he’d see his mother again.

Coming this fall BTN Originals presents the amazing story of Maryland junior defensive end Melvin Keihn and his journey to see his mother for the first time in nearly 15 years.