Commencement 2016: President’s Scholarship, Leadership & Citizenship Awards

Ashesi_Commencement_2016_President_Award_recipients_bannerJune 25, 2016

The Scholarship, Leadership & Citizenship Award is given on an annual basis to three graduates who have lived out Ashesi’s core values during their time at the university. The award is presented by the President of the University, and students who receive the award are those who have contributed in outstanding ways to Ashesi’s mission, and have had a strong impact on the Ashesi Community. This is the highest award a student can receive at Ashesi.

Esther Yaa Pokua Addei ’16

Inspired by the predicament of a friend, this student helped start a campaign on campus aimed at raising funds to support surgeries for children with brain tumors. Additionally, she served in a volunteer programme that saw her contributing to deprived communities in rural Ghana. Her collective service roles were a testament to her belief in taking action, no matter how small it seemed.

Determined to grow Ashesi’s commitment to a green campus for example, she helped lead a campaign that saw non-recyclable styrofoam packets being banned on campus for the first time ever. As a move that had previously been unpopular, she and her team’s ability to convince the entire student community to buy into this decision spoke to her ability to organize people around a common purpose.

She has been a quiet force on campus, in will and in faith, dependable and mature, especially when she served as a liaison for student-faculty-administration negotiations. And as the second woman in Ashesi’s history to become Student Government President, she has set an example for many more women to follow.

For so strongly representing the Ashesi ideals of Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship, we present this award to Esther Yaa Pokua Addei.

Daniel Adae Bonsu ’16
This student has been a binding agent all across campus, leading his peers to build the impact of several initiatives during his time as a student. As a great example of the transformative growth Ashesi hopes every student will achieve, this student stands tall. He has proven himself in multiple ways, and has had the Midas touch since his very first year.

Developing a remarkable skill for visual storytelling, he led a project that chronicled the impact stories and aspirations of young people across Ghana. He named it the “Troski Journal”, because he got his inspiration while commuting to and from his internship in a trotro. Again, he dramatically grew the influence of the Photography Club here on campus, and introduced its much recognised annual fundraiser event, Change Your DP. In his senior year, he helped rebuild the Ashesi chapter of Pencils of Promise, which helped raise support to build a school in rural Ghana. He has represented Ashesi on multiple platforms, including mentoring sessions at Senior High Schools, the Africa Innovation Forum in Morocco, and the Young African Leaders Initiative Tech Camp on civil engagement. In the midst of all of this, he found time to start a business with his roommates, Room 16 Creative Agency, which is here on campus today helping with our graduation multimedia. And even more remarkably, he made it here today with academic honours.

There are not many students in Ghana, and as a matter of fact anywhere in the world, that can brag about getting a personal shout out from the photographer behind Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton; but this student can. For so strongly representing the Ashesi ideals of Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship, we present this award to Daniel Adae Bonsu.

Dorcas Amoh Mensah ’16

There are not enough words to describe this fiercely unassuming student. Deliberate in her subtlety, bold in her conviction-filled humility, joyful in her desire to serve in the wings or on the frontline. From freshman year until now, this student has continuously woven her way in and out of the classroom, in ways that are inspiring, and quietly dramatic.

Empathetic. Observant. Dependable. Diligent. Huge heart. Exceptionally thoughtful, she is gentle but firm, accommodating and thoughtful and always willing to think and engage along new lines, to be challenged and to learn. She is an outstanding student. In the words of a lecturer, “she is the most versatile, enterprising, resourceful, helpful, respectful, conscientious, meticulous and selfless student I have ever come across in Ashesi. She follows her heart while allowing others to be themselves without being judgmental.” Saying this much about her is actually counter intuitive, because she would shy away from this much praise.

Moving between the Kingdom Christian Fellowship to the Ashesi Student Council, from Starfish Aid to Future of Africa, from Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London to the Model African Union Debate in Oxford University, from the Career Centre to the Admissions Office. And now, from Berekuso to the world. A MasterCard Foundation Scholar who exemplifies the ethos of both Ashesi and The MasterCard Foundation.

For so strongly representing the Ashesi ideals of Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship, we present this award to Dorcas Amoh Mensah.

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