Nana Sarpong ’20
Home country: Ghana
Major: Applied Economics and Management
Minor: Biology; Spanish
I work with my community(ies) to address … the unequal access to educational resources and mentorship and the empowerment of underprivileged individuals.
My friends would say I’m … altruistic, sincere, visionary and most importantly funny — or so I think!
Fun fact about me: I am popularly known as “Nana from Ghana,” but I was, in fact, born in Norway.
The best part about the Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership is … simply the space to collaborate. Space is one of most underrated things of our generation, and the Certificate in Engaged Leadership program allows an environment “for us by us.” Participants can actively contribute to foster that environment in a way that hones community-engagement skills and is essential to the purpose of the program.
For my Stage 2 committed project, I … worked on the renovation and resource expansion at the Bolgatanga library, a central location for education in the upper east region of Ghana. This included creating an information and communication technology center and a children’s library and implementing community literacy and development programs.
Not everyone has equal access to educational resources. This library project was my way of combining values I hold dear with my vision and my community partner’s vision for improving access to educational resources in the community.
My community partner(s) taught me … that although change is a transition from a past state to an envisioned future state, change very much involves the present and that it should be accounted for and the challenge should be approached positively.
I’ve also learned that engaged leaders … lead from behind.
Other projects and organizations I’m committed to include … Scholars in Our Society and Africa (SOSA). As a leader of this nonprofit organization, I am involved in multiple programs and project teams including the SOSA Cornell project team, a mentorship and college prep program in New York City for high school juniors, an after-school girls’ empowerment program in a rural Ghanaian community and a book donation program to schools in Ghana, among others.
I plan to continue my journey as an engaged leader by … working with others to help them get involved in engaging with the communities they care about.
Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership
Build on your interests and apply your experiences (from courses to extracurricular activities) to this program to develop the skills you need to be a community-engaged leader.