This first step towards gender parity is the result of an institution-wide commitment to empowering women in leadership, the hard work of the admissions team, and generous scholarship support from donors. Below, we highlight four women who received scholarships to study engineering at Ashesi.
If you are interested in supporting scholarships at Ashesi, please contact the foundation to learn more.
Charity Obaa Efi Ampomah ‘20
I am sure it will interest you to know about my experience so far at Ashesi,” says Charity Obaa Efi Ampomah ’20 knowingly. In the month since completing her freshman year, Charity has taken a well-earned rest and is ready to look back on her experience. Where to begin? First, Charity would like to extend her warmest gratitude to donors for supporting her education this year and in the years to come.
“Ashesi is a beautiful place and has a wonderful environment conducive for learning. Many of these wonderful things found here at Ashesi have taught me so much,” she says.
This includes taking part in the first-year course, The Foundations of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE). “As an aspiring entrepreneur, I was taken through the various processes in entrepreneurship, from identifying a problem to providing a solution. Ashesi gives students a chance to handle practical issues as simulations.”
Charity’s FDE team worked to address a widespread local challenge: consistent access to hygienic water. “We designed a clay pot with a filter at the end of a tap for people in the villages who did not have clean drinking water. Fortunately for us, staff at Ashesi University and some traditional restaurants were interested in our product. It was a wonderful experience for me, running an actual business. Through this experience, I developed the skills of being a good team player and presenter. As the secretary of the group, keeping proper documentation of everything that went on in the group was my top-notch priority.”
Additional standout experiences include the Engineering Department’s first-year curriculum, where “virtually everything we have studied is practical and gives me a better understanding of what I learn,” and Ashesi’s diverse campus. “I have met different people from various countries and I have come to embrace their differences and their cultures.”
Nana Oye Ndaase Djan ‘19
Every day I wake up, I thank God for this opportunity to pursue a degree in Engineering. My scholarship has made it possible to have a free mind to put in my best into this degree. I do not have to worry about not being able to come to school every semester, because it has been taken care of. In a way, this scholarship enables me every day to put in my best in everything I do because I have a lot more people I want to make proud.
There is no doubt that the highlight of the past year was being a beneficiary of a scholarship. It inspired me to evaluate myself and to consider what I had to do to make me the best version of myself, to make both myself and donors proud. The year has been full of challenges, balanced with some achievements.
The main challenge of the year was choosing to continue in my state of work inexperience, and instead add on to my engineering portfolio. During the summer holidays, I undertook a synthetic biology project with a team of eight, which is still currently going on. However, this meant I could not intern with a company as this was a full-time commitment. Furthermore, there were certain courses that proved challenging to me, especially Differential Equations and Numerical Methods. Due to its abstract nature, there were many concepts that proved difficult to grasp. To understand them meant to speak with lecturers and faculty interns after every lecture, to ask for practice problems, and even during lunch, ask questions about courses. I may not have received the grades I wanted, but to know I put in effort is enough for me.
During spring semester, my laptop failed me. It was a challenge to use the school’s PCs or ask friends to use their laptops to access additional programs. Seeing my father give up his laptop for me to use in school broke my heart. However, before the summer holidays were over, one of his friends bought me a laptop, out of the goodness of his heart. Hence my problem was solved!
On to the year’s achievements: it was a pretty sweet feeling to have two projects competing for my attention. When the Predix Challenge was introduced at Ashesi, I naturally took it up, and fortunately, my team went through the qualifiers. However, having made a commitment to my synthetic biology project, I had to give up the Predix Challenge. It means I was doing something right! The synthetic biology project is still ongoing; I consider it an achievement to learn something totally out of my field, and even solve a real-life problem with it.
Sybil Meselebe ‘20
Sybil describes her first year as a Computer Engineering student as exciting and informative. “I met so many people from diverse cultures and learned so many things as I was exposed to the many beautiful cultures of Africa.”
Though as “the real work began,” Sybil worried about her aptitude for physics, a subject she had struggled with in high school. She needn’t have. At Ashesi, physics proved to be one of her best subjects. “I could easily look up videos from physics professors and get clarifications on concepts covered in class…In my new and conducive environment, learning physics was fun and easier.”
One of Sybil’s favorite physics projects of the year was the Egg Drop Challenge. “The experiment required that we build a system that can house vaccines that would be dropped from a height into a village. With my partner, we came up with the idea of using a tennis ball. First, we cut the top part of our tennis ball. We lined the insides of the ball with fluoride toothpaste and then placed a raw egg into it. We allowed the toothpaste to dry around the egg and then sealed the ball. We then dropped the ball from a height of five meters. Our project was the smallest and won the admiration of the lecturers. Unfortunately, the egg did not survive. This did not deter me in any way from enjoying the project. I only learned better what to do the next time I construct a project like that.”
Looking back on her first year, Sybil says “being at Ashesi has brought so much light into my life. Regardless of the work load, I am much happier these days. I have learned so much about myself that I never could have had I not been here. I have grown intellectually and I treat life more positively than I did before. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to earn an education at this university…All I can say is thank you.”
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