MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Princess Sarah Culberson delivered the keynote address during “Week of Purpose” Wednesday on the campus of West Virginia University.
Culberson was born in Morgantown to an African father and a white mother and was placed into foster care as an infant and later adopted by a West Virginia family. Growing up in Morgantown with her adoptive parents, Culberson had little knowledge of her ancestry.
In the book “A Princess Found,” Culberson shares her story of learning that her biological mother passed away when she was 11, and her father lived in a village in Sierra Leone, West Africa. From her biological father, she learned about her royal family and that she is a Mahaloi, the granddaughter of a Paramount Chief, with the status of a princess.
“You know, it takes a while sometimes to find your purpose. I kind of had a certain view of how my life was going and then after finding my birth family a whole nother view opened up. So, what I want students, faculty, and staff to think about is we all have our own purpose and they come in all different sizes,” Culberson said. “You don’t have to go work in West Africa, your purpose might be in your community, your purpose might be supporting your family, whatever that is that’s your purpose and it makes a difference no matter who you are.”
Culberson’s story “A Princess Found” is being turned into a live-action movie with Disney. She has also been featured in broadcasts on CNN, GMA, BBC as well as a number of other media outlets.
“It is such an honor to be able to travel, talk, and share my story but also share about the lives of the people in Sierra Leone. And the book that I co-wrote with my writing partner Tracy Trivas called “A Princess Found” and we’re excited that it is being used in universities and their ethnic identity classes,” Culberson said.
As a specialist in Diversity and Inclusion work, President and Co-founder of her non-profit, Sierra Leone Rising, and a businesswoman in the entertainment industry, Culberson’s work reaches across the world.