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Akua Tenkorang

1415

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hello! I’m Akua and I hope to make the biggest difference in the world I can through computer science and law. I hope to use my career to help raise up underserved communities and galvanize others to do the same. I love coding and debate, taking 4 years of computer science throughout high school, as well as participating in the debate and Model United Nations clubs. I’m so glad you made it to my page and I hope you have a great day!

Education

University of Virginia-Main Campus

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Computer Science

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Judge

    • Intern

      1st Family HomeCare
      2021 – 20221 year

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Varsity
    2017 – 20203 years

    Awards

    • OP Invitational Second Place Medal
    • Varsity Letter and Pin

    Research

    • African Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

      Independent — Understanding the intersections of African languages across the continent, as well as the connections of ancient African empires and what that means for us today
      2019 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Ebenezer Daycare — Assistant Teacher
      2015 – 2019

    Future Interests

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Bold Confidence Matters Scholarship
    Confidence means loving yourself even if you don’t love every part. I have struggled a lot with body image issues and social anxiety. There were days when I would look in the mirror and bawl because I hated what I saw. And after quarantine, having been away from people for so long, I developed social anxiety. I couldn’t stand in the midst of people for over ten minutes without wanting to flee and retreat into a hole. But this is changing for me. I am slowly kindling a newfound confidence. My hope is that it will overflow into others and help them love themselves. One step I’ve taken in increasing my self-confidence was taking note of the things I am good at. It is so tempting to focus on our shortcomings and flaws while ignoring our strengths and talents. I began rolling back my memory tape to all the times I was proud of myself, like winning an award for civics, or getting huge round of applause for a speech I made. These memories helped me put myself into perspective and led me to pinpoint my good attributes instead of deprecating myself for the bad ones. This doesn’t mean ignoring our flaws or glossing over toxic traits, but it does mean loving our strong points while simultaneously improving on our weaknesses. l Our differences are our power and therein lies my confidence.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My hope is that I will be able to help play a role in stopping events like January 6th's insurrection from ever happening while also helping cultivate spaces that foster common grounds for discussion. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Young Women in STEM Scholarship
    The hope of being able to give back to my community motivates me. I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My hope is that I will be able to help play a role in stopping events like January 6th's insurrection from ever happening while also helping cultivate spaces that foster common grounds for discussion. I suffer from psychosis and major depression, and they have been the greatest obstacle in my pursuit of my degree. When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take about a month of school off because of an episode of depression and psychosis and I missed a lot of school work and school activities. Again, as a freshman in college, I had another episode, triggered by the work load and being away from family for the first time. Yet, as with all other hardships in life, I learned a great deal and am able to apply what I learned to future events. Firstly, we all have a limit. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, we all have a place where our best is reached and the rest is unfruitful. When I learned my limit, I was able to prevent burnout and further depressive episodes. Secondly, our best looks different everyday. Understanding this transformed the way I looked at progress and helped immensely in my quest to stop deprecating myself for every missed mark. If I put in 60% of my week's mental energy into a task on Monday, I may only have 40% of my energy left over for the rest of the week, and so Wednesday and Friday's best may only be 20% of what I normally do. But that's okay. It's important to rest to recharge for the later weeks and days and to remember that I put my utmost effort forward, because that's what counts. I may complete four assignments one day and two the next, but each day I put my best forward is a successful day no matter the output.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    I suffer from psychosis and major depression, and they have greatly affected my pursuit of my degree. When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take about a month of school off because of an episode of depression and psychosis and I missed a lot of school work and school activities. Again, as a freshman in college, I had another episode, triggered by the work load and being away from family for the first time. The biggest help I've had in my battle for strong mental health is understanding what our limits are and understanding what our "best" means. Yet, as with all other hardships in life, I learned a great deal and am able to apply what I learned to future events. Firstly, we all have a limit. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, we all have a place where our best is reached and the rest is unfruitful. When I learned my limit, I was able to prevent burnout and further depressive episodes. Secondly, our best looks different everyday. Understanding this transformed the way I looked at progress and helped immensely in my quest to stop deprecating myself for every missed mark. If I put in 60% of my week's mental energy into a task on Monday, I may only have 40% of my energy left over for the rest of the week, and so Wednesday and Friday's best may only be 20% of what I normally do. But that's okay. It's important to rest to recharge for the later weeks and days and to remember that I put my utmost effort forward, because that's what counts. I may complete four assignments one day and two the next, but each day I put my best forward is a successful day no matter the output. With strong mental health, I can embark on my ultimate goals of giving back to the communities I came from and helping build a more connected, understanding community, while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Eleven Scholarship
    I suffer from psychosis and major depression, and they have greatly affected my pursuit of my degree. When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take about a month of school off because of an episode of depression and psychosis and I missed a lot of school work and school activities. Again, as a freshman in college, I had another episode, triggered by the work load and being away from family for the first time. The biggest help I've had in my battle for strong mental health is understanding what our limits are and understanding what our "best" means. Yet, as with all other hardships in life, I learned a great deal and am able to apply what I learned to future events. Firstly, we all have a limit. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, we all have a place where our best is reached and the rest is unfruitful. When I learned my limit, I was able to prevent burnout and further depressive episodes. Secondly, our best looks different everyday. Understanding this transformed the way I looked at progress and helped immensely in my quest to stop deprecating myself for every missed mark. If I put in 60% of my week's mental energy into a task on Monday, I may only have 40% of my energy left over for the rest of the week, and so Wednesday and Friday's best may only be 20% of what I normally do. But that's okay. It's important to rest to recharge for the later weeks and days and to remember that I put my utmost effort forward, because that's what counts. I may complete four assignments one day and two the next, but each day I put my best forward is a successful day no matter the output. As I embark on my journey for healthy mental health, my ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and strong mental health will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Jameela Jamil x I Weigh Scholarship
    I showed up for my African community. I squirmed as my mother zipped up my kaba and straightened out my skirt. As she saw how light danced off the shiny stripes on my rose pink outfit, she was ecstatic to see me in Ghanaian wear. She was proud. I was not. I knew what was ahead. I could already hear the snickers and sneers of Ms. Cohen’s second grade class and their infamous clicking sounds, “Don’t you guys speak *click* *click*?” I was embarrassed of Ghanaian culture and wanted nothing to do with it. But this started changing when I befriended other first-generation African Americans at school. In eighth grade I met Maxine, Marwa, and Zeze from Ghana, Morocco, and Sierra Leone. We listened to afrobeats, wore our cultural wear, and most of all, encouraged each other not to be ashamed of our culture. These friendships encouraged me to educate myself on Ghanaian language, culture and history. I turned to my parents for help with pronunciations in Twi, our native language, and tried to become fluent in both our language and our traditions. During my junior year, I traveled to Ghana with my dad for the first time in fourteen years. Upon arrival, I had to adjust to things like mixing boiling water with cold tap water to get warm bath water. I quickly grew accustomed to this lifestyle and realized that the Africa portrayed on screen is not the Africa I was living in. The towering shelves of Kente cloth at Makola Market, the meticulously crafted name bracelets, and the easygoing nature of life showed me Ghana’s beauty. I was captivated by the cheer and contentment people displayed regardless of their circumstance. I brought back name bracelets, cloth fans, and other jewelry for my friends, and not before long wanted to learn and share more of my culture. I continued to immerse myself in the history, customs, and culture of African nations. My quest to discover the richness of African culture only deepened with the extra time during quarantine. I began binge-watching documentaries like Zeinab Badawi’s History of Africa. I frequently stayed up well into the night learning about the Aksum and Kush Empires, indigenous religions, and the rise of kings and Emirs. I listened to various African languages being spoken on WikiTongues, because I wondered how Twi’s phonetics compared to languages like Tigryna and Herero. I became fascinated with Bantu languages because of how smooth and melodic they are and even started to learn Swahili. But then I thought to myself, if there is so much linguistic and ethnic diversity in Africa, why then do we generalize the African identity? Determined to find an answer, I turned to my parents once more, and through proverbs they illustrated shared values that many Africans hold dear. The Twi proverb, “Nkakra nkakra akoko be nom nsuo,” means “Little by little the chicken will drink water.” Similarly, the Swahili proverb, “Haba na haba hujaza kibaba,” means “Little by little fills the measure.” Though they come from opposite ends, West and East Africa, both proverbs point to the importance of starting small to achieve our goals. The beauty of Africa is that even across 54 countries and over 1.2 billion people, individuality in our culture is reconciled with unity in our values.
    William M. DeSantis Sr. Scholarship
    I suffer from psychosis and major depression, and they have greatly affected my pursuit of my degree. When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take about a month of school off because of an episode of depression and psychosis and I missed a lot of school work and school activities. Again, as a freshman in college, I had another episode, triggered by the work load and being away from family for the first time. The biggest help I've had in my battle for strong mental health is understanding what our limits are and understanding what our "best" means. Yet, as with all other hardships in life, I learned a great deal and am able to apply what I learned to future events. Firstly, we all have a limit. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, we all have a place where our best is reached and the rest is unfruitful. When I learned my limit, I was able to prevent burnout and further depressive episodes. Secondly, our best looks different everyday. Understanding this transformed the way I looked at progress and helped immensely in my quest to stop deprecating myself for every missed mark. If I put in 60% of my week's mental energy into a task on Monday, I may only have 40% of my energy left over for the rest of the week, and so Wednesday and Friday's best may only be 20% of what I normally do. But that's okay. It's important to rest to recharge for the later weeks and days and to remember that I put my utmost effort forward, because that's what counts. I may complete four assignments one day and two the next, but each day I put my best forward is a successful day no matter the output. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and strong mental health will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Papi & Mamita Memorial Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Andrew Perez Mental Illness/Suicidal Awareness Education Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I suffer from psychosis and major depression, and they have greatly affected my pursuit of my degree. When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take about a month of school off because of an episode of depression and psychosis and I missed a lot of school work and school activities. Again, as a freshman in college, I had another episode, triggered by the work load and being away from family for the first time. The biggest help I've had in my battle for strong mental health is understanding what our limits are and understanding what our "best" means. Yet, as with all other hardships in life, I learned a great deal and am able to apply what I learned to future events. Firstly, we all have a limit. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, we all have a place where our best is reached and the rest is unfruitful. When I learned my limit, I was able to prevent burnout and further depressive episodes. Secondly, our best looks different everyday. Understanding this transformed the way I looked at progress and helped immensely in my quest to stop deprecating myself for every missed mark. If I put in 60% of my week's mental energy into a task on Monday, I may only have 40% of my energy left over for the rest of the week, and so Wednesday and Friday's best may only be 20% of what I normally do. But that's okay. It's important to rest to recharge for the later weeks and days and to remember that I put my utmost effort forward, because that's what counts. I may complete four assignments one day and two the next, but each day I put my best forward is a successful day no matter the output. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and strong mental health will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    The biggest help I've had in my battle for strong mental health is understanding what our limits are and understanding what our "best" means. I suffer from psychosis and major depression, and they have greatly affected my pursuit of my degree. When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take about a month of school off because of an episode of depression and psychosis and I missed a lot of school work and school activities. Again, as a freshman in college, I had another episode, triggered by the work load and being away from family for the first time. Yet, as with all other hardships in life, I learned a great deal and am able to apply what I learned to future events. Firstly, we all have a limit. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, we all have a place where our best is reached and the rest is unfruitful. When I learned my limit, I was able to prevent burnout and further depressive episodes. Secondly, our best looks different everyday. Understanding this transformed the way I looked at progress and helped immensely in my quest to stop deprecating myself for every missed mark. If I put in 60% of my week's mental energy into a task on Monday, I may only have 40% of my energy left over for the rest of the week, and so Wednesday and Friday's best may only be 20% of what I normally do. But that's okay. It's important to rest to recharge for the later weeks and days and to remember that I put my utmost effort forward, because that's what counts. I may complete four assignments one day and two the next, but each day I put my best forward is a successful day no matter the output.
    Jack “Fluxare” Hytner Memorial Scholarship
    To me, influence means giving back to the communities you came from and helping build a more connected, understanding community, while educating and inspiring others along the way. I influence others by constantly encouraging them to put their best foot forward in all their endeavors and be happy with the outcome, knowing they did their best. As a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so one reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. Becoming a computer scientist will lead me to close the racial gap in STEM, and lead my goal of reducing poverty for students in Newark, the city I was born in. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My hope is that I will be able to help play a role in stopping events like January 6th's insurrection from ever happening while also helping cultivate spaces that foster common grounds for discussion. I suffer from psychosis and major depression, and they have greatly affected my pursuit of my degree. When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take about a month of school off because of an episode of depression and psychosis and I missed a lot of school work and school activities. Again, as a freshman in college, I had another episode, triggered by the work load and being away from family for the first time. Yet, as with all other hardships in life, I learned a great deal and am able to apply what I learned to future events. Firstly, we all have a limit. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, we all have a place where our best is reached and the rest is unfruitful. When I learned my limit, I was able to prevent burnout and future depressive episodes. Secondly, our best looks different everyday. I may complete four assignments one day and two the next, but each day I put my best in is a successful day no matter the output.
    Carlynn's Comic Scholarship
    “Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us,” - T’Challa. Black Panther encouraged me to look at the divisions in my own racial community and address them. My community is divided against itself: African Americans vs. Africans, light skin vs. dark skin, loose curls vs. tight curls; and on top of that, external racism. Black Panther has reminded me of the devastating effects of slavery, imperialism, and discrimination. It’s taken me back to the younger Akua, struggling to embrace the pigmentation of her skin because it didn’t look light enough. But now, Black Panther has enabled me to hold those difficult conversations with my peers about our divisions, where they stem from, and how to uproot them.
    Lillian's & Ruby's Way Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. One of the books that has influenced me in my journey is the Bible. Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." This inspires we to put all of my effort into whatever I am doing, because it's not just for a momentary award, but for the glory of God. Another verse I love is Proverbs 16:3, which says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." I love this verse because it eases my worry whenever I am undertaking a new task. I know that when I set my heart on a new task, God will guide me and help me complete it in his time. These verses encourage me in my pursuit of helping my community, as I have faith that it's not just by my strength that these goals will be achieved. I also believe that God loves the people I seek to help even more than I do, and he will help me be a blessing to them for His glory. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Snap Finance “Funding the Future” Scholarship
    Winner
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. My family has influenced me heavily in this goal, as they always encourage me to give back to those who helped me grow. My parents are Ghanaian immigrants, and their sacrifices for me have taught me the importance of giving yourself to work that will benefit others, not to receive something in return, but to better their lives. My older brothers have also inspired me to pursue computer science, as they majored in it and also exemplify the joy of giving to others through this field and seeing them flourish with that help. They helped show me that though the major is challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding. I have also been inspired by friends along the way, many of whom being girls and people of color in my computer classes. Seeing all the diversity in my classes leads me to believe that diversity in the STEM field is not only possible, but it is already taking shape. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. Becoming a computer scientist will lead me to close the racial gap in STEM, and lead my goal of reducing poverty in Newark. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My hope is that I will be able to help play a role in stopping events like January 6th's insurrection from ever happening while also helping cultivate spaces that foster common grounds for discussion. Along with my computer science degree, I plan to minor in African and African American studies. By pursuing this minor, I will enrich my understanding of the various cultures of peoples of African descent, as well as help educate others who, out of ignorance, may exercise certain prejudices. Knowledge coupled with love has the power to shake hate and foster productive conversations that change hearts. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Lucille Hobbs Education Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. I want to be remembered for how I gave back to the communities I came from and helped build a more connected, understanding community, while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Stefanie Ann Cronin Make a Difference Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.p
    Connie Konatsotis Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to finish college so that I can gain the resources necessary to uplift and support students in Newark in their careers. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Ruth and Johnnie McCoy Memorial Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to finish college so that I can gain the resources necessary to uplift and support students in Newark in their careers. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Bold Impact Matters Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My hope is that I will be able to help play a role in stopping events like January 6th's insurrection from ever happening while also helping cultivate spaces that foster common grounds for discussion. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Giving Back to the Future Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Black Students in STEM Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Stephan L. Daniels Lift As We Climb Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Women in Tech Scholarship
    I was born in a city of cultural affluence yet perpetual poverty: Newark. Whenever I visit, the wealth disparity between my neighborhood in Virginia and my old neighborhood in Newark is jarring. As I pace the streets of Newark, there are boarded-up businesses, bullet pierced homes, and disenfranchised residents. These issues have historically plagued lower-income neighborhoods, and they are the culmination of many systemic failures and other multifaceted issues. But I can change this. My goal is to major in computer science so that I can teach it to lower-income students in Newark and help them start a career in STEM. My career goal is to start a non-profit to help lower income students in neighborhoods like mine get into college and STEM fields and hopefully pull them out of poverty. I became interested in computer science my freshman year of highschool after my older brother recommended a computer math class to me. My teacher made computer science seem like an art form where your fingers were the paintbrush and the monitor was the canvas. With a little bit of thought and a lot of characters, you can make a masterpiece. I had an affinity for coding that made me love it all the more, thus when it came time to decide on a college major, the answer was simple. Computer science gives me an insider's perspective on technology in our increasingly digital world. Technology plays a powerful role in almost every aspect of life and I want to be in a position to help positively influence the changes it will bring. Majoring in computer science will also help me better understand the applications I use for my various tasks and enable me to create my own solutions to these tasks. This major will also allow me to advise my friends and family in technology and help make their lives easier. I also plan to become a teacher’s assistant (TA) so that I can help tutor students at my college in computer science. I also plan to seek out students of color in my major and help and encourage them to press on in a field with little representation but much promise. Furthermore, as a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I know how important representation in the work field is, so another reason I want to study computer science is to show young girls who look like me that it is very much possible. Entering this field will also help close the racial gap in the STEM field and in the process, galvanize others to do the same. I also want to help students in Ghana gain the same opportunity that I have to apply to college and pursue higher education, especially in fields like computer science. I also want to use computer science to help squash the digital pockets of hate around the web. As we move towards an increasingly digitized world, spaces for hate have also become digitized and have plagued many social media platforms. While many factors contributed to what happened in the Nation's capital on January 6th, one factor that made it possible was the ability of extremist groups to gather and organize on platforms like Facebook. With my degree in computer science, I will be able to help engineer solutions that detect hateful extremist activities on social media platforms and mitigate them appropriately. My ultimate goals are to give back to the communities I came from and help build a more connected, understanding community, and computer science will help me achieve this while educating and inspiring others along the way.
    Bold Turnaround Story Scholarship
    I squirmed as my mother zipped up my kaba and straightened out my skirt. As she saw how light danced off the shiny stripes on my rose pink outfit, she was ecstatic to see me in Ghanaian wear. She was proud. I was not. I knew what was ahead. I could already hear the snickers and sneers of Ms. Cohen’s second grade class and their infamous clicking sounds, “Don’t you guys speak *click* *click*?” I was embarrassed of Ghanaian culture and wanted nothing to do with it. Yet this began to change as I started researching about Africa. I began binge-watching documentaries like Zeinab Badawi’s History of Africa. I frequently stayed up well into the night learning about the Aksum and Kush Empires, indigenous religions, and the rise of Emirs. I listened to various African languages being spoken and I wondered how Twi’s (my language) phonetics compared to languages like Tigryna and Herero. Then I thought, if there is so much linguistic and ethnic diversity in Africa, why then do we generalize the African identity? Determined to find an answer, I turned to my parents, and through proverbs they illustrated shared values that many Africans hold dear. The Twi proverb, “Nkakra nkakra akoko be nom nsuo,” means “Little by little the chicken will drink water.” Similarly, the Swahili proverb, “Haba na haba hujaza kibaba,” means “Little by little fills the measure.” Though they come from opposite ends, West and East Africa, both proverbs point to the importance of starting small to achieve our goals. The beauty of Africa is that even across 54 countries and over 1.2 billion people, individuality in our culture is reconciled with unity in our values. Now I wear my kaba and skirt proudly and embrace my Ghanaian culture.
    Bold Deep Thinking Scholarship
    One of the world’s biggest problems is prejudice towards Africa and it’s people. We can solve this problem by educating ourselves on the diversity and beauty of Africa. My quest to discover the richness of African culture deepened with the extra time during quarantine. I began binge-watching documentaries like Zeinab Badawi’s History of Africa. I frequently stayed up well into the night learning about the Aksum and Kush Empires, indigenous religions, and the rise of kings and Emirs. I listened to various African languages being spoken on WikiTongues, because I wondered how Twi’s phonetics compared to languages like Tigryna and Herero. I became fascinated with Bantu languages because of how smooth and melodic they are and even started to learn Swahili. But then I thought to myself, if there is so much linguistic and ethnic diversity in Africa, why then do we generalize the African identity? Determined to find an answer, I turned to my parents once more, and through proverbs they illustrated shared values that many Africans hold dear. The Twi proverb, “Nkakra nkakra akoko be nom nsuo,” means “Little by little the chicken will drink water.” Similarly, the Swahili proverb, “Haba na haba hujaza kibaba,” means “Little by little fills the measure.” Though they come from opposite ends, West and East Africa, both proverbs point to the importance of starting small to achieve our goals. The beauty of Africa is that even across 54 countries and over 1.2 billion people, individuality in our culture is reconciled with unity in our values.
    Bold Confidence Matters Scholarship
    Confidence means loving yourself even if you don’t love every part. I have struggled a lot with body image issues and social anxiety. There were days when I would look in the mirror and bawl because I hated what I saw. And after quarantine, having been away from people for so long, I developed social anxiety. I couldn’t stand in the midst of people for over ten minutes without wanting to flee and retreat into a hole. But this is changing for me. I am slowly kindling a newfound confidence. My hope is that it will overflow into others and help them love themselves. My first step in increasing my self-confidence was taking note of the things I am good at. It is so tempting to focus on our shortcomings and flaws while ignoring our strengths and talents. I began rolling back my memory tape to all the times I was proud of myself, like winning an award for civics, or getting huge round of applause for a speech I made. These memories helped me put myself into perspective and led me to pinpoint my good attributes instead of deprecating myself for the bad ones. This doesn’t mean ignoring our flaws or glossing over toxic traits, but it does mean loving our strong points while simultaneously improving on our weaknesses. The second thing I did was to seek out representation of my body type and complexion in media. Everyday, we are bombarded with images of “perfect” bodies, smooth complexions, and seemingly flawless lives, and it can be easy to loathe our lives in comparison. But when I started seeing representation of my people with my complexion, body type, and temperament in media, I had a newfound understanding of beauty. Our differences are our power and therein lies my confidence.
    Bold Persistence Scholarship
    I used constant learning of African cultures to overcome my insecurity of my background. My quest to discover the richness of African culture only deepened with the extra time during quarantine. I began binge-watching documentaries like Zeinab Badawi’s History of Africa. I frequently stayed up well into the night learning about the Aksum and Kush Empires, indigenous religions, and the rise of kings and Emirs. I listened to various African languages being spoken on WikiTongues, because I wondered how Twi’s phonetics compared to languages like Tigryna and Herero. I became fascinated with Bantu languages because of how smooth and melodic they are and even started to learn Swahili. But then I thought to myself, if there is so much linguistic and ethnic diversity in Africa, why then do we generalize the African identity? Determined to find an answer, I turned to my parents once more, and through proverbs they illustrated shared values that many Africans hold dear. The Twi proverb, “Nkakra nkakra akoko be nom nsuo,” means “Little by little the chicken will drink water.” Similarly, the Swahili proverb, “Haba na haba hujaza kibaba,” means “Little by little fills the measure.” Though they come from opposite ends, West and East Africa, both proverbs point to the importance of starting small to achieve our goals. The beauty of Africa is that even across 54 countries and over 1.2 billion people, individuality in our culture is reconciled with unity in our values.
    Bold Hope for the Future Scholarship
    The current wave of educating people on anti-racism and inclusivity gives me hope that the future will be better. An example of this is the love for the movie Black Panther. “Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us,” - T’Challa. When Chadwick Boseman passed away in August, I rewatched the Black Panther, and gleaned new insights. I picked up on new things like the distinct Nigerian accent from Mbaku and the Xhosa accent from Shuri, T’Challa’s father’s Kente cloth and Himba tribe’s stunning hairstyle. But the main theme that resonated with me was the enmity between African-Americans and Africans. I know this issue all too well. Growing up a first-generation Ghanaian-American, I witnessed both sides: African relatives describing African-Americans as “lazy,” and African-Americans describing Africans as “uncivilized.” I struggled to understand why two people who looked exactly the same could constantly be at odds with each other. My community is divided against itself: African Americans vs. Africans, light skin vs. dark skin, loose curls vs. tight curls; and on top of that, external racism. Black Panther has reminded me of the devastating effects of slavery, imperialism, and discrimination. It’s taken me back to the younger Akua, struggling to embrace the pigmentation of her skin because it didn’t look light enough. But now, Black Panther has enabled me to hold those difficult conversations with my peers about our divisions, where they stem from, and how to uproot them.
    Deborah's Grace Scholarship
    Camouflage is a difficult task, and my long legs did not make it much easier. My legs struggled to mimic my brother’s as he ambled towards his Sunday School class. My church organized the classes by age, and since I was six years old, I was supposed to attend the kindergarten class. But riddled with timidity, I quaked at the thought of a room full of kids I had never met. Plus, kindergartners are kind of scary. Though at church I had an irrational fear of six year olds, at home I was the life of the party. I crafted name cards for Thanksgiving dinners, facilitated wrestling matches with my stuffed animals, and performed (slightly off-key) ballads for my family. My charming behavior even earned me honorary titles such as “Bozo”, “Bum”, and my favorite, “Quiet, we live in an apartment!” (My brothers gave me that one). My siblings often picked on me and did not let me join their games, but one activity they always let me participate in was pencil tapping. I studied my brothers as they oscillated between the tips and ends of pens and pencils as they made beats with these less-than-conventional instruments. And slowly, by observation, I learned to tap to songs like Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire” and the Super Mario Bros’ theme song. I mesmerized my classmates with freestyles and began to teach them my new craft. The former six-year-old-phobic child did not need to camouflage anymore. Soon after pencil tapping became my signature, it evolved into making beats in my head. One afternoon at Costco, I was making music and shuffling my feet, and before I knew it, a man in the other aisle was shuffling with me. Immediately, my long-lost shyness kicked in and I stopped. I stood there flustered for a moment and smiled as the man moved towards the medicine aisle. Aw man, timidity at it again. I turned to follow my mom towards the cereal aisle but then realized, the man had not actually seen my smile because of my mask covering my face. So hoping to continue our dance battle and make sure he knew he did not offend me, I surveyed the aisles and scanned the checkout lines for my new friend. After spotting him in the vitamins section, I began to shuffle again. We dueled for a minute and though I think I was the clear winner, I couldn’t help but think, is this the same girl who darted behind her brother in an attempt to hide from kindergartners? I had found the remedy to my shyness, and it could be used to bring joy to others as well. It was an instrument to speak to someone I hadn’t met, to brighten an otherwise gloomy situation, and most of all, to make someone’s day. Whether it’s low budget pencil percussion, dance battles at Costco, or simply vibing to rhythms in my head, making beats is how I fought timidity and bring respite to myself and those around me.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    “BWEEE BWEEE BWEEEEE!” “Ayee, ayeeee!” I swayed to my makeshift beat and the sound of the fire alarm as my Spanish class waited outside for the fire drill to end. “You're always dancing,” teased my friends as we made our way inside. My spontaneous dance has always been something I use to bring mundane situations to life. One afternoon at Costco, I was listening to afrobeats in my headphones and shuffling my feet. Before I knew it, a man in the other aisle was shuffling with me. My shyness kicked in and I stopped and smiled. I stood there for a few seconds, but then realized he hadn’t actually seen my smile because of my mask covering my face. Hoping to continue our dance battle, I surveyed the aisles and scanned the checkout lines for my new friend. After spotting him in the vitamins section, I began to shuffle again. We dueled for a minute and though I think I was the clear winner, the real prize was seeing the joy in his eyes as we danced. While the pandemic brought the world to a standstill and undoubtedly caused great stress and despair, dancing helps me relieve stress, especially when tasks like grocery shopping have become a health risk. It was an instrument to speak to someone I hadn’t met, to brighten an otherwise gloomy situation, and most of all, to make someone’s day.
    Bold Be You Scholarship
    Spontaneous dance is how I stay true to myself. “BWEEE BWEEE BWEEEEE!” “Ayee, ayeeee!” I swayed to my makeshift beat and the sound of the fire alarm as my Spanish class waited outside for the fire drill to end. “You're always dancing,” teased my friends as we made our way inside. My spontaneous dance has always been something I use to bring mundane situations to life. One afternoon at Costco, I was listening to afrobeats in my headphones and shuffling my feet. Before I knew it, a man in the other aisle was shuffling with me. My shyness kicked in and I stopped and smiled. I stood there for a few seconds, but then realized he hadn’t actually seen my smile because of my mask covering my face. Hoping to continue our dance battle, I surveyed the aisles and scanned the checkout lines for my new friend. After spotting him in the vitamins section, I began to shuffle again. We dueled for a minute and though I think I was the clear winner, the real prize was seeing the joy in his eyes as we danced. While the pandemic brought the world to a standstill and undoubtedly caused great stress and despair, dancing helps me relieve stress, especially when tasks like grocery shopping have become a health risk. It was an instrument to speak to someone I hadn’t met, to brighten an otherwise gloomy situation, and most of all, to make someone’s day.
    Freddie L Brown Sr. Scholarship
    Camouflage is a difficult task, and my long legs did not make it much easier. My legs struggled to mimic my brother’s as he ambled towards his Sunday School class. My church organized the classes by age, and since I was six years old, I was supposed to attend the kindergarten class. But riddled with timidity, I quaked at the thought of a room full of kids I had never met. Plus, kindergartners are kind of scary. Though at church I had an irrational fear of six year olds, at home I was the life of the party. I crafted name cards for Thanksgiving dinners, facilitated wrestling matches with my stuffed animals, and performed (slightly off-key) ballads for my family. My charming behavior even earned me honorary titles such as “Bozo”, “Bum”, and my favorite, “Quiet, we live in an apartment!” (My brothers gave me that one). My siblings often picked on me and did not let me join their games, but one activity they always let me participate in was pencil tapping. I studied my brothers as they oscillated between the tips and ends of pens and pencils as they made beats with these less-than-conventional instruments. And slowly, by observation, I learned to tap to songs like Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire” and the Super Mario Bros’ theme song. I mesmerized my classmates with freestyles and began to teach them my new craft. The former six-year-old-phobic child did not need to camouflage anymore. Soon after pencil tapping became my signature, it evolved into making beats in my head. One afternoon at Costco, I was making music and shuffling my feet, and before I knew it, a man in the other aisle was shuffling with me. Immediately, my long-lost shyness kicked in and I stopped. I stood there flustered for a moment and smiled as the man moved towards the medicine aisle. Aw man, timidity at it again. I turned to follow my mom towards the cereal aisle but then realized, the man had not actually seen my smile because of my mask covering my face. So hoping to continue our dance battle and make sure he knew he did not offend me, I surveyed the aisles and scanned the checkout lines for my new friend. After spotting him in the vitamins section, I began to shuffle again. We dueled for a minute and though I think I was the clear winner, I couldn’t help but think, is this the same girl who darted behind her brother in an attempt to hide from kindergartners? I had found the remedy to my shyness, and it could be used to bring joy to others as well. It was an instrument to speak to someone I hadn’t met, to brighten an otherwise gloomy situation, and most of all, to make someone’s day. Whether it’s low budget pencil percussion, dance battles at Costco, or simply vibing to rhythms in my head, making beats is how I fought timidity and bring respite to myself and those around me.